Up until a few years ago, Missouri courts allowed injured workers to seek injury compensation from negligent co-workers. However, in 2012 House Bill 1540 updated the workers’ compensation section of state law with RSMo Section 287.120.1. This amendment bars injured workers from bringing a civil action against a co-worker who was engaging in misconduct on the job.
While this amendment prevents you from suing a coworker for being drunk at work, it also protects your right to collect workers’ compensation for injures caused by employee negligence. In short, the law takes the liability for injury away from any employee at fault, and places it onto the company (and ultimately, the company’s insurer).
The law provides that any injury due to a coworker’s intoxication that occurred in the course of the employment, is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, including:
- Ignoring proper safety precautions,
- Equipment errors, miscalculations, or other mistakes that put coworkers at risk,
- Physical or sexual assault,
- Drunk driving in a company vehicle,
What to Do After an Intoxicated Coworker Causes Injury
Even if you cannot sue a coworker for the costs of your injuries, he or she may still face criminal charges for driving under the influence or operating heavy machinery while intoxicated. Call us today to find out how the circumstances of your case can affect your injury claim, or learn more in our free informational guide, How to Avoid Becoming a Work Injury Horror Story.