The workers compensation statutory law works as a form of insurance, such that if any employee is involved in a work related accident, as specified by the agreement between the employer and the employee, then the company is obligated to compensate him/her for any injuries or future losses suffered (Moore, 2009). However, the down side of this statutory agreement is that the workers relinquish their rights to sue for any acts or omissions of negligence that the employer gets involved in. This trade off is commonly known as the compensation bargain. (Harlan, 2011).
Statutory provisions (defense)
The A.R.S §23-906(A)shows clearly, that, employees that show compliance to the provisions of sections 23-961 or 23-962 of the Act, as to receiving compensation in case of any incident or accident from any act or omission, resulting to injuries or death of an employee by the employers negligence shall not be able to sue for damages at common law or through any other way provided for by the statutes. (Harlan, 2011). However if the act constitutes willful negligence then this will be a defense against the employer. Likewise A.R.S. §23-1022(A) shows that the only remedies the employee or his/her beneficiary would get from the employer following injuries and death would only be compensation as stated in the act. These two provisions base the defense of the employer thus preventing the injured party from outsourcing any remedy from common law or otherwise, these are the exclusivity provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act. However there are two exceptions to this very stringent laws provided by the exclusionary clauses (1) A.R.S. §23-1022(C) . This section provides the remedy in regards to medical expenses and malpractice by the medical practitioners and all other costs that constitute medical treatment, thus the employee can sue the employer under this section. (Harlan, 2011).
In the case of Ford v. Revlon, 153 Ariz. 38, 734 P. 2d 580 (1987),. (Harlan, 2011). shows an example as to how the courts have circumvented the obligatory relinquishment of the rights of the employee not to sue their employer and thus get a chance to institute a claim against the negligence of his employer. In this case the failure of Revlon to take appropriate action in response to the employee’s calls for help enhanced the argument that the supervisor was liable to emotional responsibility .Revlon set up the defense involving the exclusionary clauses which lies under the Arizona workers compensation. This provisions of law were circumvented by the learned judges, that under the A.R.S. §23-1021(B), that workers' compensation covered injuries brought about by accidents arising out of and in the course of employment. The court by a majority determined that this act was not an accident, thus not covered by the Arizona workers compensation act (Peter, 1998). However there were dissenting opinions.
It is the work of the employer to do a background check of all employees he admits to his work place. The actions of employer in this case, are negligent, thus the court should find in favor of the plaintiff if at all physically injuries were incurred. However allowing a claim of emotional distress, would open flood gates of emotional distresses cases, involving even on lookers and allowing them to sue for compensation on the same claim of emotional distress. The holding in this case, I would say, is very well thought, the fact that the plaintiff suffered emotional distress is actionable if it is argued to be an accident sustained through the course of his work, but it would be unwise for any judge to open flood gates of litigation. If an alarm system was put, this would not prevent emotional distress would it? The plaintiff again is entitled to damages involving the treatment he sought and the side effect that came with it, as there is a statutory requirement enhancing the claim. Willful misconduct which is a defense to the exclusionary clauses is not evident in this case as was brought forth in the case of Lowery v. Universal Match Corporation, 6 Ariz. App. 98, 430 P. 2d 444 (1967).