Work Related Injuries

Broad Protection for State of New Mexico for Claims by State Employees Narrowed Slightly

The New Mexico Court of Appeals addressed the exclusivity provisions of the Workers‘ Compensation Act in Sarah Quintero v. State of New Mexico Department of Transportation. The case presented an interesting issue of first impression of whether the New Mexico Workers‘ Compensation Act provides the exclusive remedy in the case of a worker employed by…

Employers Generally Not Liable for After Hours Actions of Employees

In the case of Ovecka v. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company, the New Mexico Court of Appeals addressed the issue of vicarious employer liability in the context of a wrongful death suffered in a DWI auto accident involving an employee of Burlington Northern. The central issue in the case was whether the drunken employee‘s…

Employer Responsibility for Worker Safety? No, But Thanks for Playing.

The seminal New Mexico case addressing worker‘s compensation exclusivity is the 2001 New Mexico Supreme Court case of Delgado v. Phelps Dodge. The case, despite the leap in the protection of workers over prior law, clearly illustrates the marginal protection employees are afforded from the negligent acts of their employers. The Delgado case involved a…

Worker‘s Compensation Exclusivity for Injured Workers Hard to Overcome

The New Mexico Court of Appeals case, Chairez v. James Hamilton Construction Co., discussed in my prior post also addressed issues related to exclusive remedy of worker‘s compensation for employees injured on the job. Most states have statutes similar to New Mexico limiting an injured worker‘s claims against a negligent employer to worker‘s compensation. As…

Ground Zero Settlement: Is it Fair?

It was announced last week that there has been a $657.5 million settlement to compensate around 10,000 workers harmed during the cleanup of Ground Zero in the 911 Terrorist Attack. Two obvious questions arise: Is it a fair settlement for the injured workers? Why the delay in settlement when the workers were obviously harmed during…

Caps on Punitive Damages: Great for Business, Bad for Everyone Else

Punitive damages are a hot topic both for businesses and for individuals harmed by the conduct of businesses. Punitive damages are just that, “punitive”. They are awarded above and beyond compensatory damages to punish outrageous and dangerous corporate behavior. More importantly, they serve the purpose of deterring future bad behavior. Punitive damage are relatively rare…

Work Related Auto Accident Injuries and Employer Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Work related injuries in New Mexico, as in most states, typically leave the injured workers grossly under-compensated in cases of serious or permanent injuries or wrongful death. With on the job injuries, the worker is typically limited to recovery under the Workers Compensation Act. There are exceptions. An injured worker can recover damages beyond the…

Third Party Liability in Construction Accident Avoids Limits of Workers Compensation Laws

Construction accidents can be devastating. They are generally far more serious than other workplace injuries. Often times, unlike run of the mill workplace accidents, construction accidents result in permanent injuries and even death. Workers compensation laws, including those in New Mexico, presumably drafted to protect workers instead generally place a grossly inadequate cap on the…

Albuquerque Personal Injury Attorneys