Suing The Employer Twice

This scenario involves an employer who happens to also be a third party tortfeasor responsible for the employee’s injuries. As an example, the employer might be a car dealership where an employee becomes injured from driving one of the cars and the employer happens to also be the manufacturer of the defective automobile component.

In certain states, the employer is first, liable to the employee for benefits under the Workers’ compensation statute, in the shoes of the employer, and second, potentially liable for common law damages, in the shoes of the manufacturer. The dual role of innocent employer/guilty third party exposes the employer to dual liability (even though the employer will be reimbursed for the amount paid in statutory benefits).