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When Being Special is not so Special (NY)

August 21, 2019

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<p style="text-align: justify;">An injured plaintiff cannot bring a lawsuit in New York against his/her employer, since that person's remedy should be through workers' compensation, not through a Supreme Court lawsuit.   Simple enough, right?  But sometimes, whether a person is an "employee" is a nuanced questions.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Plaintiff, Faunaude Matthews, was injured at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) when he fell from the top of a file cabinet in an attempt to retrieve documents he needed for the job he was performing for Bright Star Messenger Center, LLC. Matthews was employed by Bright Star and was assigned to work for Metropolitan Data Corp. Metropolitan Data was contracted by the MET to do the job that Matthews was performing that resulted in his injuries.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Matthews <a href="">filed suit for personal injuries</a> he allegedly sustained from the fall and named Bright Star, Metropolitan Data and the MET as defendants. Metropolitan Data alleged it was Matthew’s “Special Employer” so Workers’ Compensation Law (WCL) barred his claims against it. The court referenced Matthews own testimony that established he was Metropolitan Data’s “Special Employee” as a temporary employee hired by his general employer, Bright Star, and his work was supervised and controlled by Metropolitan Data.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The Court further noted, Matthews received Workers’ Compensation benefits from Bright Star, therefore, suit was barred against Bright Star and Metropolitan Data, who established entitlement to summary judgment based on the WCL defense.  Thanks to Jon Avolio for his contribution to this post.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Please email <a href="">Brian Gibbons</a> with any questions.</p>
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