Miles A. Matt: Many of our clients who are injured at work ask us whether they can sue their employer. The very short answer of that is “yes.” However, that is a very technical question.
People here who work along the Gulf Coast, or land side, in Louisiana, are covered by one or the other of Workers’ Compensation Acts. There’s either the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act or the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. To fall into the Longshore Act, your work has to be over, or near, water. To be able to sue your employer for those benefits is, however, limited.
The only benefit you can get is a partial reimbursement weekly, while you can’t work, of your salary and all your medical benefits. They cannot be sued for pain and suffering or disability or any other damages.
There are limited circumstances, such as a Jones Act seaman or maritime employee, who can sue their employer and obtain, recover all of their damages. These are very complex questions and issues which we handle here at Matt & Allen every day.