Child allowed to sue mother’s employer

Injuries sustained before child was born
||Last Updated: 04/08/2003

The Supreme Court of the state of Washington has determined that there are cases where a family member can sue for damages under worker’s compensation law. Previously, Washington’s strictly-worded legislation was thought to prohibit lawsuits by families and dependants of injured workers.

Verona Meyer was working in a Burger King restaurant when she lost her footing and struck he lower abdomen on a table known as the “Whopper Board.” At the time, her pregnancy was almost full-term. A few hours later, her daughter Patricia was born with severe and permanent physical and mental disabilities.

Meyer and her husband sued for damages for their daughter’s injuries and for their loss of a relationship with her. Burger King sought to have the action struck out on the basis of the wording of the worker’s compensation law. Its motion was dismissed by the trial and appeal courts before going to the Supreme Court.