What to do if I attended a holiday luncheon at my company but a chair gave out and I fell and hurt myself?

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What to do if I attended a holiday luncheon at my company but a chair gave out and I fell and hurt myself?

We rented fold-up chairs and tables for the event. I chose a seat to take and when i sat the chair collapsed to the concrete floor, resulting in a bruised and swollen right calf, numbness in upper right arm and pain in right hip. An incident report was filed with employer. I’ve waited a week for the pain to subside but I’m going to my employer’s recommended health facility to get checked out on Monday. Can I sue rental company for negligence and do I lose any rights to sue if I go to employer’s provider instead of my own?

Asked on December 28, 2012 under Personal Injury, New Hampshire

Answers:

Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Your remedies depend on how the New Hampshire worker's compensation, product liability, bailment, and property ownership laws interface.  I suspect that the work luncheon falls within the worker's compensation statutes.  Those statutes generally provide medical care and wage reimbursement for people injured on the job.  They are exclusive remedies and prevent employees from suing their employers for injuries.

Although an employee cannot sue her or his employer for an injury, you may still be able to make a claim against the company that rented the chairs, perhaps the company that made the chair, and perhaps the owner of the property where the luncheon occurred. 

I would be surprised if you lost any rights by obtaining medical care through your employer's worker's compensation program, but I do not practice in your state.  I suggest that you consult a personal injury lawyer in your area to advise you about your rights.  In the meantime, you should pursue medical treatment as your health is the most important consideration.

 


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