Woman seriously injured at MSU in legal battle

Call now for a free consultation
Available 24/7

Injured? It’s Time to Get Some Answers

Don’t let the insurance adjuster push you around. Request your free consultation today.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Get Help From our Michigan Workers’ Comp Lawyers Today
You’re not alone. Our Michigan workers’ comp lawyers have been called the best in the state, and we pride ourselves on providing you with care, trust, and responsiveness.

Tragic story about a woman seriously injured at MSU show what happens when insurance companies battle against each other and highlights a problem with the exclusive remedy provision contained in the WDCA.

WLNS-TV picked up the story of Elisabeth Ostendorf, a German born research scientist working at MSU, who was run over by an automobile and suffered a brain injury. MSU determined that she was not covered under workers’ compensation and refused to pay benefits as a self-insured employer. She filed a civil lawsuit against MSU for its negligence and received a multi-million-dollar verdict. MSU’s liability insurance carrier refuses to pay this award because they believe she is covered under workers’ compensation. This matter continues to be fought in the courts and justice has been delayed.

This tragic situation demonstrates what happens when insurance companies battle against each other. Michigan adopted its first workers’ compensation law in 1912. It was designed as a compromise between employee and employer interests. The Worker’s Disability Compensation Act of 1969 (WDCA) is now the exclusive remedy for an employee hurt on-the-job. This means wage loss, medical treatment, and vocational rehabilitation should be paid automatically if an employee is hurt at work. In exchange for these guaranteed benefits, employers receive immunity from civil lawsuits.

We have seen some employers refuse to pay workers’ compensation benefits and then use the exclusive remedy provision as a shield against a civil lawsuit. Insurance companies point fingers at each other while the disabled employee cannot put food on the table or get needed medical treatment.

The Michigan Legislature also reformed the workers’ compensation law in 2011 limiting the amount of wage loss benefits that must be paid. Insurance companies can now use “wage earning capacity” to reduce the amount of weekly checks. We had a client who saw his wage loss benefits slashed to just $19 per week based upon a job he could not even obtain.

It is time that Michigan scrap the exclusive remedy provision for employers who fail to pay. Employees should also be allowed to seek additional damages when workers’ compensation benefits are shown to be inadequate.

Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 201-9497 for a free consultation today.

Related information:

Why your “wage earning capacity” matters under Michigan workers’ compensation

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by John M. Quick.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Author Bio Jeffrey Kaufman

Author
Jeffrey E. Kaufman
Michigan Workers Comp Attorney

Jeffrey E. Kaufman has extensive experience in workers compensation cases and has recovered millions of dollars in benefits for his clients. He believes all injured workers deserve to be on equal footing with insurance companies and employers, and fights tenaciously so their rights are secured and protected.


“Jeff also helped me with getting my Blue Cross bills paid. I would absolutely recommend him and the whole firm. Jeff and the firm did everything they were supposed to do for me and my case.”
Ricardo Perfetto

Hundreds of 5-Star Reviews

Related Blog Posts

Get Help From our Michigan Workers’ Comp Lawyers Today

You’re not alone. Our Michigan workers’ comp lawyers have been called the best in the state, and our clients love how they’re treated with care, respect, and responsiveness. We will give you the time you need, we will explain your legal rights, and we will always treat you with respect.

Our workers’ compensation and Social Security disability lawyers always put your needs first. Get to know your legal team.

Our attorneys post regularly about common issues related to workers’ comp, including common injuries, settlement calculations, laws, and more.

Injured? It’s Time to Get Some Answers

Don’t let the insurance adjuster push you around. Request your free consultation today.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Our attorneys post regularly about common issues related to workers’ comp, including common injuries, settlement calculations, laws, and more.

Our workers’ compensation and Social Security disability lawyers always put your needs first. Get to know your legal team.