New York: Comp Carrier Entitled to Take Credit Against Future Benefits for Rape Victim’s Settlement Against Employer and Co-Employees

A workers’ compensation carrier, who paid benefits to an aide at a juvenile detention center who was physically assaulted, raped, and kidnapped is entitled to take a dollar-for-dollar credit against future benefits owed where the aide settled a federal civil action against the employer and various co-employees for $650,000, held a New York appellate court recently in Beth V. v. New York State Office of Children & Family Servs., 2012 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 6318 (Sept. 27, 2012). The aide challenged the credit for future benefit payments, claiming the provisions of Workers’ Comp. Law § 29 (the subrogation statute) did not apply to her settlement proceeds. The appellate court disagreed, indicating that when a claimant obtains recovery in a civil action for the same injuries that were the predicate for workers’ compensation benefits, the carrier has a lien against any recovery, even where the action is brought against an employer or a co-employee.

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