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Dismissal of Employer's Claim Against the Carrier Where Underlying Claims Made by the Employee Were not Covered Under the Worker's Compensation Policy

Stephen M. Cozart | May 22, 2020

Steve Cozart, of our Pensacola office, secured an order dismissing, with prejudice, a claim against a workers compensation carrier alleging improper claims handling. The employer was initially sued by its employee in federal court for failing to pay hourly wages. The employer claimed that it had been forced to settle with the employee in that lawsuit because the workers compensation carrier set up medical appointments for the employee approximately 50 miles away from where the employee worked. The employer then sued the carrier in state court to recover the settlement amount paid as well as its attorney’s fees in defending the federal court action. Steve was able to convince the state court that the claims made by the employee were not covered under Part B of the workers compensation insurance policy and that there was no possibility that the employer could state a viable cause of action against the carrier. As such, the Court dismissed the Amended Complaint with prejudice and reserved jurisdiction to consider an award of attorney’s fees under a proposal for settlement that was served early in the litigation.

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