Can I sue my employer ifI was injured on the job by a fellow co-worker?

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Can I sue my employer ifI was injured on the job by a fellow co-worker?

I was assaulted at work but didn’t press any charges on the co-worker who assaulted me. The owner of the nursing home saw me with my injuries and fired both my co-worker and I. As I was being interviewed she didn’t ask me if I needed any medical assistance since my nose was bleeding and my forehead was bruised. Can I sue her for negligence of medical assistance being that nurses were in the facility and she didn’t ask me for any assistance?

Asked on October 1, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, you probably can't sue for "negligence of medical assistance." It is not a nursing home's job to provide medical care to anyone but it's own patients; therefore, they did not violate any duty to you. (For example, if you walked in off the street injured, they would not have to treat you.)

However, if the co-worker had any history of violence or threats, or if there was any indication that he or she posed a risk, it may be the case that the employer is liable for negligent hiring (hiring someone they should not have) or negligent supervision (not managing the person or situation properly). Of course, if you only suffered slight injuries, then even if the nursing home would be liable, it's likely that you could sue for enough to make a lawsuit worthwhile; what you can recover in damages is related to the extent of your injuries (and the cost to treat them).


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