A major class-action lawsuit could spell trouble for Wal-Mart. The company is accused of conspiring with clinics and its insurance company to limit medical care for workers hurt on-the-job.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of about 7,000 Wal-Mart employees (past and present) in Colorado last year. Wal-Mart is named, as is its healthcare subsidiary Concentra and Wal-Mart’s insurance company American Home Assurance Company (which is part of AIG, the American International Group).
The defendants are accused of working together to limit injured workers’ medical care options by trying to dictate the care they receive. This is against the law in Colorado.
Why is a Colorado lawsuit against Wal-Mart news in New York? New York has a similar law which bars companies from dictating how and where injured workers receive medical care. This means that Wal-Mart could face similar accusations from New York workers, if evidence surfaces that Wal-Mart and its partners used the same tactics here.
Remember, in New York injured workers have the right to see an independent doctor of their choosing. Your employer has no right to pressure you to see a company doctor and stick to company-prescribed diagnosis and treatment plan.
Wal-Mart is also accused of excessively contesting workers’ comp claims and delaying payments to injured workers. If your employer tries any of these tricks, maybe it is time to talk to an experienced NY workers’ comp attorney.