Civil Immunity under the Workers’ Compensation Act

Today’s post was shared by The Jernigan Law Firm and comes from www.jernlaw.com

Today’s post comes from Anthony Lucas at the Jernigan Law Firm.

Under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, there are a few instances where the Act specifically precludes or limits civil liability for certain actors. Not surprisingly, two of the three listed below are related to reporting actions related to fraud in the workers’ compensation system. The third is related to medical malpractice.

With respect to workers’ compensation fraud, the Act provides civil immunity to any person who in good faith reports information about another person making a false statement or representation of a material fact for the purpose of obtaining or denying any benefit or payment, or assisting another person to obtain any benefit or payment. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-88.2. The Act also provides civil immunity to any person who in good faith reports information about a healthcare provider submitting charges for health care not furnished; or fraudulently administering, providing, and attempting to collect for inappropriate or unnecessary treatment or services; or violating the Self-Referrals statute N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-88.3. In both cases the key to immunity is reporting in “good faith.” Malicious and knowingly false reporting can lead to adverse consequences.

Apart from immunity for reporting fraud, the Act provides employers with civil immunity from damages for malpractice by a doctor the employer furnishes to treat the injured employee….

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