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What Do You Think: Did Miss. Worker Show Bad-Faith Refusal to Pay Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

18 May, 2023 Frank Ferreri

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Tupelo, MS (WorkersCompensation.com) -- When someone is employed by one employer and does work for another in some capacity, the question of who owes workers' compensation when the worker gets injured sometimes presents some sticky legal issues.

Such was the case for a Mississippi worker who attempted to claim workers' compensation benefits after getting hurt while working a temporary job.

What Happened?

The worker, who was employed by a temp agency, experienced a lower back injury while working for a company where she was placed through the agency. According to the worker, the agency and its insurer did not arrange the form of treatment that was required for almost a year.

According to the worker, a "false and/or misleading" statement by an employee of the company the worker was working for when she injured her back caused the denial of the worker's claim for medical treatment. Thus, she alleged a claim of bad faith denial of workers' compensation benefits.

The worker did not present event that there was a contract between the company and the insurer for workers' compensation coverage or insurance. The company contended that the worker worked for the temp agency, and so it did not have an obligation to the worker under workers' compensation law.

In Mississippi, to state a claim for bad faith denial of workers' compensation benefits, a plaintiff must allege an intentional refusal to provide workers' compensation benefits. A claim of bad-faith refusal to pay workers' compensation benefits has three essential elements:

(1) A contract of workers' compensation insurance existed between the defendant and the plaintiffs' employer;

(2) The carrier denied the plaintiff's compensable workers' compensation claim without a legitimate or arguable reason; and

(3) The denial of benefits constitutes a willful and intentional or malicious wrong.

Did the worker state a claim for bad faith denial of workers' compensation benefits (click one of the buttons for the answer)?


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    About The Author

    • Frank Ferreri

      Frank Ferreri, M.A., J.D. covers workers' compensation legal issues. He has published books, articles, and other material on multiple areas of employment, insurance, and disability law. Frank received his master's degree from the University of South Florida and juris doctor from the University of Florida Levin College of Law.

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