A nurse at a local hospital was injured and fell at work on her way to pick up a patient in the emergency room of the hospital. The floor had been freshly waxed but without any warning signs. The case was referred to us to handle by another attorney as a Workers’ Compensation matter. (Under Pennsylvania law, an employee injured on the job cannot sue a fellow employee or his employer for negligence, but can receive Workers’ Compensation.) The housekeeping staff at the hospital were fellow employees of the nurse.
After undertaking representation, it was learned that the hospital had a contract with a major conglomerate to run housekeeping using hospital employees. After extensive discovery and investigation, it was established that although housekeepers were paid by the hospital they were really employees of the major conglomerate. Once this was established, the way was paved for an $875,000 settlement for the nurse who has a permanent neck injury. In addition, $150,000 was secured from the Workers’ Compensation carrier as a settlement, bringing the total recovery to $1,025,000.