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Need help with trauma claim-Washington state

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  • Need help with trauma claim-Washington state

    Is it possible to win a wc claim for trauma in the state of washington. If so, what needs to be proven in an appeal case in superior court after evidence of threats and harassment, management retaliation, threats of firing, etc at the workplace and medical testimony (ptsd) given in previous appeals proceedings, but, to no avail.

    In trauma cases in the state of Washington, to prevail in WC, trauma must occur from a single incident, ie, witnessing a traumatic event, for example, a electrocution where serious injury or death occured.

    Even so, wouldn't a trauma case from the result of years of abuse, harassment, threats, etc. and finally being intentionally targeted by management by firing threats and yelling and false write-ups that had happened on my last day of work, in which I was injured and had to take a leave of absence from work because of the mental injury i suffered and still am suffering to this day-(eventually being fired while on sick leave/leave of absence, qualifies for WC.

    Why are attorneys not helping or given me reasons for not helping me in this dilemna. What am i missing? Any expert WC attorneys or laymen in State of Washington who can make meaning of this, would be helpful.

    Thanks!

    RMA

  • #2
    I'm not sure how you expect anonymous strangers on a message board, who know nothing of your situation except the few sentences you have provided here, to be able to tell you why you are unable to get a lawyer to help you.

    With this, fairly obvious exception; that if multiple lawyers have refused to help, either you do not have a case at all or it is too weak a case to be viable.

    If the law in your state requires a single act for a trauma claim, then a claim of ongoing actions is not going to meet the requirements.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

    Comment


    • #3
      In pretty much every state this would be barred by WC statutes. Any recovery from harassment would be subject to civil codes and not fall under WC. WC is an exclusive remedy which means very rarely can you file a claim then turn around and sue your employer for the same act. This however, goes both ways and you can not "double dip" by filing a civil suit then also collect under WC. Even when you don't file a civil suit, WC was just not designed to cover the sort of injury you suffered. It just isn't the way the law, particularly in your state, was written.

      To some extent it makes sense. If everyday stress from work were compensible, claims would be through the roof. While in your case it probably was obvious this was the cause, in the vast majority of cases, it is not so clear cut. There is also no objective measure of when stress gets to the point that it requires intervention and everyone has a different capacity for dealing with this sort of treatment. On the civil side of things, there is a tort for "intentional infliction of emotional distress" and that bar is significantly higher than any threshold in WC. Believe me when I say I understand being stuck in a toxic work environment and having it impact your health. The remedy though, is to find another job elsewhere. You'll be glad you did and wonderwhy you didn't sooner.


      It is also rare that a WC claim makes it to court. You have to file a claim with your state and go through the WC process first. You can not just skip over those steps and proceed straight to court.
      I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

      Comment


      • #4
        Not to overly simplify this issue, but you really don't have a case.

        A judge will ask you why you didn't remove yourself from the situation through resignation. When you say something along the lines of "I decided to stay because of....", the judge will then say that you had a remedy to the stress and chose not to use it.

        Unless they had you chained to a desk, you really don't have a case.
        Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

        I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

        Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

        Comment


        • #5
          Response to query

          I removed myself from this situation and took medical leave for the sudden trauma I experience my last day of work from intentional threats from management for being fired and intentional verbal abuse. I became traumatized, thus, I was unable to return to work for it.

          RMA

          Comment


          • #6
            Yelling at you and threatening to fire you are not the sorts of "events" that qualify in your state. The fact that you have also been told this by several attornies should tell you something.
            I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

            Comment


            • #7
              This is the part that no one seems to get.

              You are not legally protected from people yelling at you, being mean to you, or threatening your job. In fact, the only time you are protected at all is when your membership in a protected class (age, race, national origin, etc) is the foundation of the abuse.

              And even then, if the person is an equal opportunity jerk, it isn't illegal.

              No one will take your case because you don't have one. The court is not your mommy. You don't get to run to them and say, "my mean old boss made me cry" and the judge will send your company to their room.

              If your boss is a jerk, quit. If you don't want to quit, you just made the decision to put up with the jerk. That is all there is to it.
              Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

              I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

              Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by primafacie View Post
                I removed myself from this situation and took medical leave for the sudden trauma I experience my last day of work from intentional threats from management for being fired and intentional verbal abuse. I became traumatized, thus, I was unable to return to work for it.

                RMA
                You said this was "years of abuse". Did I misunderstand?

                If I did not, then the judge will ask you why you didn't quit sooner.
                Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

                I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

                Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

                Comment


                • #9
                  unrelated to WC and labor laws, but...

                  As a mental health professional, I have to say that it really disgusts me when people claim to have PTSD due to petty stressors that any reasonable person could cope with quite well.

                  There are people with PTSD who have survived combat, severe childhood abuse, brutal rape, etc, and this kind of claim is an insult to those folks. Any mental health professional who would sign-on and assign this diagnosis is irresponsible.

                  If you had a gun held to your head and you were held hostage for several hours, you might develop PTSD.
                  If you were raped as a small child, you might develop PTSD.
                  If you were next door to the twin towers on 9-11, you might develop PTSD.

                  If you had a supervisor verbally threaten you and fire you, you just have to develop a thicker skin and move on. I hope for your sake you never encounter REAL trauma. Get some therapy and learn to just deal with life.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Reply to answers

                    I am glad someone mention discrimination because that means we are getting somewhere with this problem. Assuming discrimination is the underlining issue in this situation. Having management and conspiring employees make it possible for anyone to continue employment is an environment where your life is at stake. I have developed the thickest skin anyone could ever possible endure. The rights of employers to discriminate and feed people of color to the "wolves" (allowing assaults, harassment, retaliation, etc where in the industry of trust of empolyees is of the utmost-having been assaulted and threatended in the past and where my life had been at stake from employees who intential meant harm) and where management do nothing about it- is wrong and violating civil liberties to an individual and denying one to provide and earn a living and basic human rights been violated atrociously.

                    It is always easy to be on the other side of the fence and say to someone that they are weak and need to be tougher, etc. is evident that hard work, education, law abiding citizens takes second in line to those who are violating the law and makes the rules.

                    Why is it that some murderers get life in prison and some get the death sentence. Why is it that Gary ridgeway get's the life sentence for killing 50 human beings and someone who kills one person gets the death sentence?

                    Trauma is trauma, It is subjective to an individual. Why are thousands of returning soldiers developing PTSD. I was at war for almost twelve years at my place of employment and I will carry the invisible wounds that my employer had intentional caused me for the rest of my life.

                    What the Jews endured during Hitler's regime is no comparison to what I had been subjected to by my employer.

                    RMA

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by primafacie View Post

                      What the Jews endured during Hitler's regime is no comparison to what I had been subjected to by my employer.

                      RMA
                      Ya Think!!!

                      I expect those Jews would have had the good sense to walk away day one had they the option, as you have had all these years. I further expect those Jews would be traumatized by your making such an assinine assertion and should be entitiled to sue you for millions of dollars. They could claim PTSD from having to read your nonsense, just like you can claim PTSD from hearing the nonsense you "claim" to have endured by your previous employer.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        What the Jews endured during Hitler's regime is no comparison to what I had been subjected to by my employer.

                        I am horrified beyond belief that you could make such a comparison.

                        I'm not even going to explain why, except to say that you have just insulted the entire Jewish race. The unendurable horrors of what the Jews went through cannot be compared to a bad boss.

                        And no, I am not Jewish.
                        The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

                        Comment

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