A case out of Texas may provide injured workers to a way to enforce their state’s doctor choice laws. In Warneke v. Nabors Drilling USA, a Texas appellate court held that a workers’ fraud and misrepresentation case against his employer for lying about having workers compensation coverage was not barred by the exclusive remedy of the workers compensation statute because the fraud was separate from the work injury.
A workers compensation doctor choice fraud and misrepresentation claim would be difficult to prosecute, but as a fellow trial lawyer told me at a recent AAJ membership and PAC drive, if things were easy people wouldn’t need lawyers.
In Warneke, the employer lied when it told their injured employee that they did not have workers compensation insurance. The court said the fraud caused the plaintiff to incur unpaid medical bills as well as emotional damages from economic distress. Continue reading