How can we sue my husband’s employer for false accusations pertaining to a worker’s comp case?

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2010

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How can we sue my husband’s employer for false accusations pertaining to a worker’s comp case?

My husband’s employer hired a private detective to spy on him when he was off work for an injury. They charged him with worker’s comp fraud because of her findings, but we won the case in comp court. Do we have any grounds to sue them for the misery they put us through, and what is the statute of limitations for a case like this?

Asked on July 16, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Speak with an attorney, who can evaluate your situation in detail and confidence, to determine whether you may have a claim and on what basis exactly (the basis will then govern the statute of limitations). As a general rule, the fact that someone challenged your claim or even accused you of fraud does NOT necessarily give rise to a cause of action--otherwise, almost every successful claimant or litigant could then sue any and every party opposing their claim. The issue generally comes down to whether, even if they ultimately were wrong, the other party acted in good faith and on some reasonable basis for their beliefs. If they did--if the employer legimately thought that your husband might be perpetuating worker's comp fraud--then even if it turned out that they were mistaken, that would not give rise to a cause of action; employers not only have a right to challenge worker's comp payments they disagree with, but overall, they are encouraged to do so when there they have reasonable or good faith belief, to help stop fraud that hurts everyone.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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