Typically if you are injured at work, you should be able to collect workers’ compensation insurance. However, because workers’ compensation is considered an “exclusive remedy,” your employer is immune from further litigation related to that injury – even if the company was negligent. There are a few exceptions, but they are very narrow.
What’s more, this immunity extends also to co-workers who are acting in the course and scope of employment. That means even if your co-worker does something that is extremely careless and you wind up hurt, you still can’t sue them. But (there’s always a “but”) there could be an exception if your co-worker was not acting in the course and scope of employment. This would apply to an extremely narrow set of circumstances, particularly if the plaintiff qualified for workers’ compensation. However, it is possible, as the recent Washington Supreme Court case of Entila v. Cook illustrates.
According to court records, defendant and plaintiff were both employees of the same company. One was heading into work, and one was leaving. The injury occurred as plaintiff was crossing the street on an access road belonging to the company, while defendant, operating his personal vehicle on that same road after finishing his shift. Defendant struck plaintiff with his vehicle, causing plaintiff to suffer serious personal injuries. Continue reading →