Employees in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee who believe they have been wrongfully denied workers’ compensation benefits now have a new weapon – RICO. In Brown v. Cassens Transport Co., 6th Cir., No. 10-2334, 4/6/12, five employees sued their employer, a claims adjuster and a doctor alleging conspiracy to deny them workers’ compensation benefits. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the lawsuit stated a claim under RICO.

RICO, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, requires that an alleged victim identify four elements: (1) conduct (2) of an enterprise (3) through a pattern (4) of racketeering activity. Each element requires an additional analysis: an “enterprise” is marked by association and control; a “pattern” requires a showing of “continuity”, which is continuous and related behavior that amounts to, or poses a threat of, continued criminal violations; and “racketeering activity” involves the violation of designated federal laws. In addition, an alleged victim must allege that he was injured in his business or property “by reason of” a violation of RICO’s substantive provisions.
Continue Reading Sixth Circuit Recognizes Potential RICO Claim If Employees Wrongfully Denied Workers’ Compensation Benefits