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Q.22. What About Negligence Lawsuits?

One of the biggest reasons employers choose not to opt out is the fear of being sued. This is understandable, but most increased liability can usually be traced to a lack of attention to workplace safety. In addition, according to a Princeton study, nearly 60% of all non-subscriber cases settle prior to trial, 38% of those tried result in no award, and almost 88% of awards in non-fatal accidents are for $70,000 or less. There is tort reform, which limits the amount an injured employee might recover, as well as subrogation and off-set claims, which might allow the employer to recover some or even all of his ERISA benefits that were paid. Finally, there is employer liability insurance to cover almost all potential losses, as well as the possibility of arbitration to avoid "runaway" juries.

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