Texas’ 5th District Court of Appeals in Dallas reversed a lower court’s ruling and ruled that a workers’ compensation nonsubscriber can compel the arbitration of an injured nurse’s claim. Mark Bennett was injured when he was struck in the head by a door while cleaning a small room at Atrium Medical Center, where he was employed. The long-term acute care hospital is operated by Corinth Investor Holdings LLC, a nonsubscriber that maintains an employee injury benefit plan which includes arbitration provisions. Under those terms, disputes, claims or controversies related to “the occupational injury, death or disease of a plan participant shall be submitted to final and binding arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act.” The payment of medical benefits constitutes acceptance of the plan (and the arbitration) and Bennett received medical treatment over a period of a year. He then attempted to revoke his acceptance in writing, which was allowed under the plan.
Bennett filed a lawsuit against Corinth in October 2014, alleging that it failed to provide a reasonably safe workplace; to properly instruct, supervise and train supervisory employees; to supply reasonably safe and suitable equipment, tools and appliances; and to establish reasonably safe rules and regulations. Corinth responded by filing a motion to compel arbitration. The 193rd Judicial District Court of Dallas County, Texas, denied Corinth’s motion to compel arbitration and granted Bennett’s motion to declare the case nonarbitrable.On appeal, the court reversed and remanded the case, directing the District Court to grant Corinth’s motion to compel arbitration.
Read complete coverage via Business Insurance here. Read the entire opinion here: Bennett v. Corinth_Texas 5th District Court of Appeals