Can I sue this company?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can I sue this company?

I am a 20 year old female residing in New Hampshire. I was a full time employee at a shoe store called ‘Journeys’. Last summer, I got hurt stepping down from a ladder. I injured a tendon in my foot/ankle. I filed for workers comp and the claim was approved. My doctor put me on work restrictions such as no more than 40 hours of work a week and no use of ladders, as well as minimal squatting and lifting. My work refused to abide by these restrictions and I was doing all of these things and working 50-60 hours a week, all while in a walker cast I ended up further injuring to the point of surgery Once surgery was in the cards, workers comp then decided it was not a work place injury and they were no longer covering it. Do I have a case here? Not only for the fact workers comp didnt pay for it, but also for the fact a minor injury turned into a surgery??

Asked on May 27, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New Hampshire


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't sue them for your injuries, because you chose to work under those conditions--you could have refused, even at the risk of being fired, to do things potentially injurious to you and instead brought a disability-related discrimination or harassment complaint. By choosing to squat, lift, climb ladders and work more than 40 hours, you, not your employer caused your injuries, because you are the one who did those things--again, could have said "no" and then taken the appropriate legal action, if any. Instead, you voluntarily put your job ahead of your health and your employer is not liable for that, any more than you would be liable if you offered someone $10 to climb a tree and get your kite down and they did, but then fell.
You can still try to bring an employment-related discrimation claim (which is not a claim for the injuries themselves) with the federal EEOC or your state's equal/civil rights agency. Bear in mind that you are not guaranteed to win: your employer's only obligation is to make "reasonable accommodations," or changes in how you do your job which accommodate your condition and which are not too disruptice or expensive for them, and which let you do the job. If your job necessarily involves climbling ladders, lifting squatting, etc., then it is not a reasonable accommodation to let you out of those things, since in that case, if you did not do those things, you would not be doing your job. Your employer does not need to invent a different job for you, or pay you for not doing your job. Sometimes, there are simply jobs you can't do, either temporarily or permanently, due to medical conditions or injuries--when that is the case, you may need to look for other employment.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption