Can I sue an employer 3 years later for ignoring an emergency medical issue that could have been life threatening?

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Can I sue an employer 3 years later for ignoring an emergency medical issue that could have been life threatening?

I no longer work for this company. I was laid off a year ago but continue to deal with the long term medical issues resulting from a blood clot (in my leg) that resulted from a business trip (flight). Is it possible to sue? I told my supervisor that it was almost impossible for me to walk on my leg because it was very swollen and painful. I have 3 co-workers that heard her say that it was mandatory for me to attend all meetings regardless. I flew back to with a painful and swollen leg. After returning to I was hospitalized. I’m still having issues with the leg and am still on medication.

Asked on May 22, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, this is not your former employer's fault. Whether or not your supervisor wanted you to go meetings or not, or wanted you to walk around or not, it was your choice to do so. You could have said no, even if the the potential cost was being fired; you might then have had a lawsuit or legal action.

No one forced you to do something injurious to your health; they made you aware of possible consequences, and you chose to follow them. A responsible adult cannot hold others accountable for the consequences of actions he or she chose to do. Similarly, if you had gone to work while sick with the flu because you were worried about missing days, and as a result became sicker, that would also no be your employer's fault. While it's understandable that you felt pressured, "pressure" is not coercion--you had the ability to say not.


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