Exclusive remedy provision protects employer from lawsuit arising from "intentional" under-staffing
Kevin Falconer sued his employer, Havenwyck Hospital, after he suffered injury at the hands of a violent patient. He claimed that his injury was "intentionally caused" by his employer because the hospital intentionally staffed the hospital at an unsafe level. If the injury was caused "intentionally" by the employer, it would not be able to utilize the workers compensation law to preclude a negligence claim and Falconer could pursue a claim for the full amount of his damages.
The trial court ruled that Falconer had not showed that the employer "intentionally" caused his injury. The subject statute has been interpreted to require proof an actual "intent to injure." Even where injury is virtually certain to result, the Michigan Supreme Court has ruled that there is no exception from workers compensation's exclusive remedy if the employer lacked an intent to harm.