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CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney with experience representing plaintiffs in personal injury matters.
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I am a teacher at a juvenile correctional facility. Two

Customer Question

I am a teacher at a juvenile correctional facility. Two years ago, our principal decided that the teachers would help out with the staff shortage and serve trays to youth in their housing units when staff was short, usually due to hazardous weather. I am a single woman of 61 years of age, and pushing heavy carts filled with trays and then physically carrying the heavy trays to each individual room was very painful on my back. I continued to provide these services, however, on the insistence of the principal. Early in 2015, I developed an extremely painful case of sciatica, which my primary physician treated with an anti-inflammatory injection and Celebrex. At that time, I was barely limping to get around at work. I finally informed Mr. Downey of my condition and told him that it was difficult for me to walk and I might need a cane. Just as I expected, he was totally unsympathetic and stated that "his superiors" might take a very dim view of someone not being able to perform their duties and that they, in fact, might just tell me to "stay home." Being a single woman and fearing the loss of my job, I continued when circumstances dictated to perform this extra duty when needed. I eventually did not see much improvement and went to a pain clinic, where I was given an epidural. Unfortunately, I didn't experience any relief, so I have gone to a second pain clinic, and the doctor there ordered an MRI of my lower back. I have now come to find out that I have a bulging disc as well as some arthritic changes in the same area. My question is, can I sue Mr. Downey personally. He is not a member of our union and it was due to his direct orders that I was performing this duty, which is clearly far removed from the customary responsibilities of a licensed educator.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Personal Injury Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

Thank you for using our forum. My name is ***** ***** I hope to assist you today.

I am very sorry to learn of this situation.

Unfortunately, you cannot sue an individual employer for the kind of conduct you describe here.

Your recourse that you need to take to get fully compensated for this injury is to file a worker's compensation claim (worker's compensation is the system that replaces the tort system (filing a civil suit for personal injury) between an employee and an employer for on the job injuries).

I would recommend that you retain a worker's compensation attorney to assist you with your claim.

Fortunately the majority of these attorneys will provide you with a free consultation, and many will represent you on a contingency basis (they will advance the costs of litigation and legal services in exchange for a portion of your successful settlement or award).

You can find local worker's compensation claimant's attorneys using the State and Local Bar Association directories, or private directories such as;; or (I personally find to be the most user friendly).