A personal chef who sustained severe personal injuries following a trip-and-fall while at work in a private home was awarded $1.5 million in damages as part of a settlement agreement in exchange for voluntarily dismissing his claim in court.
According to the Greenwich Time, the settlement was reached between the chef and the remodeling company, which allegedly laid down a dangerous plastic runner on a set of stairs in the rear of the kitchen. The remodeling firm was contracting with the homeowner to carry out a series of residential renovations.
This settlement was important for the worker because in Connecticut, similar to in Florida, homeowner do not have to purchase workers’ compensation coverage for domestic workers they hire. The exemption laid out in F.S. 440.02(15)(c)1 specifies that domestic servants in private homes are exempt from the definition of “employment.” But homeowners who choose not to buy workers’ compensation insurance for housekeepers, personal chefs, nannies and others may find they are personally liable for injuries suffered by these workers on their properties. Granted, the worker would have to prove negligence on the part of the homeowner (something they don’t have to do in typical workers’ compensation claims), but if that worker prevails, he or she will be able to collect all of their lost wages (as opposed to just a portion), all medical bills and compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress and loss of consortium. These payouts would most likely be made through the homeowner’s insurance policy. Continue reading