October 29, 2019 Articles

New York Workers’ Compensation Law: The “Grave Injury” Exception

Learn about one way to permit third parties to avoid the workers’ compensation bar and implead the employer.

By Andrew Punzo

Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance which provides coverage for wage losses and medical benefits to employees injured while employed in exchange for relinquishing their right to sue their employers for negligence. Workers’ compensation is meant to be an exclusive remedy, meaning that employees must give up their right to sue their employer as a matter of law in exchange for those workers’ compensation benefits. Most states permit exceptions to this rule, such as if an employer intentionally harms an employee or does not carry workers’ compensation insurance. New York, however, has a roundabout exception to the workers’ compensation exclusivity rule that is not found in other states: the “grave injury” exception.  

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