A Philadelphia resident who was allegedly injured on the job in 2012 brought a suit against his employer, a subsidiary of the U-Haul Co. of Pennsylvania. Now, attorneys for U-Haul argue that the damages being sought are too high for the established jurisdictional maximum of Pennsylvania courts. In addition, they claim that the parties accused are not legally joined. As a result, they've filed a petition asking that the suit be transferred to a federal district court.
According to the defendants, the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act prohibits civil claims against U-Haul and its local subsidiary, Falls Manufacturing Co. Although the plaintiff suffered serious injuries including sprains, spinal disc injuries, and spinal cord fractures that required surgeries and extended medical care, the defendants' attorneys claim that this is the purpose of the Compensation Act. They also maintain that the injured employee was classified as a "borrowed servant" who had been sourced from a staffing agency at the time of the work accident and that this status means the defendants are excused from liability.
Industrial accidents caused by falling debris or equipment can lead to debilitating medical expenses for the injured parties. Many seek compensation, but state regulations and the way victims file their claims affect their likelihood of receiving restitution.
Work accidents and the laws that govern them can be extremely complex. As this case demonstrates, employment technicalities and seemingly minor details play a role in establishing liability and affect victims' chances for compensation. As a result, many people who sustain injuries from accidents on the job consult with knowledgeable attorneys prior to filing suits or otherwise seeking damages.
Source: The Pennsylvania Record, "U-Haul lawyers petition to transfer Phila. workplace injury suit to federal court," Jon Campisi, Feb. 22, 2013