Employers Turn a “Blind Eye” to Their Injured Worker

Oct 28, 2019

Tim Duggins’ was working on a construction project when a nail head flew into his eye. Mr. Duggins assumed worker’s compensation benefits would cover the expenses for his injuries, but proper workers’ compensation processes had not been established before he was hired for the project, and the subcontractor, the subcontractor’s payroll company, and the general contractor, all disavowed their employment of him. Having only worked at the project for a few days, Mr. Duggins didn’t even know who was going to be paying him that week. He was hired by a stranger over the phone who, informed Mr. Duggins that he was “on his own” after the accident occurred.

When to Seek Representation from Adam Baron

Mr. Duggins was left sightless in left his eye requiring multiple surgeries, mounting medical bills in the tens of thousands of dollars, and no income. He had no choice but to seek the help of an attorney, so he hired Adam Baron.

“When I first met Mr. Duggins, I knew that this would be tricky because of the number of different companies involved that were potentially on the hook. I figured the best way to proceed was to file worker’s compensation claims against all three entities and just fight it out”, explained Baron.

Workers’ Compensation Process in Florida

Many depositions were taken over several months to get to the bottom of who was ultimately Mr. Duggins’ employer. The case then proceeded to a final hearing before the Judge of Compensation Claims in Lee County, who ruled that the payroll company was legally responsible for providing Mr. Duggins’ worker’s compensation benefits. They had unsuccessfully defended against the claim by contending that Mr. Duggins was an independent contractor and not their employee. The judge ruled that he did not meet the legal test of what an independent contractor was and had appeared on the payroll company’s records, which suggested that he was meant to be considered their employee.

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