The Exclusive Remedy Rule

By Jason Weinstock on September 4, 2009

I am asked so many questions about whether an injured worker can sue his employer that I have written an explanatory article entitled, “Can I Sue My Employer”.  That article is in the Information Center at  I have included the citations to the Nevada Supreme Court  decisions that discuss the exceptions to the exclusive remedy rule. The exclusive remedy rule is used by employers to defeat lawsuits attempted by injured workers who try to sue employers for  their work injuries.

 NRS 616A.010 and616A.020 are the actual laws that contain the language relied on by employers using the exclusive remedy defence.  Those laws say that injured workers cannot sue their employers for a work-related injury or occupational illness, and that injured workers must instead be  compensated with the benefits provided by the laws that make up our workers’ compensation system in Nevada.  However, if the injury is caused by someone other than the employer or a co-employee, the injured worker may also pursue a personal injury action against the person or entity responsible for causing the injury.  The law then becomes very complex in determining who or what is a “co-employee”, or an “employer” for purposes of determining whether a personal injury lawsuit can be brought.  In Richards v. Republic Silver State Disposal, 148 P.3d 684 (2006), the Nevada Supreme Court reviews the body of case law on this topic.

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