Judges dismiss workers' claim that defendants conspired to deny legitimate workers compensation claims.
Clifton Jackson and Christopher Scharnitzke sued Coca Cola, Sedgwick Claims Management and Dr. Paul Drouillard, arguing that the three defendants conspired to prevent injured workers from recovering workers compensation benefits. Sedgwick managed comp claims for Coca Cola and referred injured workers to Drouillard--a "cut off" doctor--for an "independent" medical evaluation. He consistently found the employees were not entitled to statutory benefits.
The injured men argued that the defendants conspired to violate the Racketeer and Corrupt Organizations Act, by pursuing a fraudulent scheme to deny them civil statutory rights---i.e., their "exclusive remedy" for on the job injury. The Defendants argued that since the workers' statutory right to workers compensation was based on a personal injury, they were exempted from the operation of RICO.
On appeal, the high court ruled that even if the workers could prove a corrupt statutory scheme, they were not entitled to the protection of the corrupt practices act because their rights originated with a personal injury.