That’s the question I’m asked most often about the case filed by the family of the passenger lost in the Tesla plane crash.
The reason Tesla wasn’t sued is simple. Neither a passenger nor his family is allowed to sue an employer for a work-related injury or death. Instead, they are stuck with the meager workers’ compensation benefits available to them. Even if the death was caused by the employer’s negligence, the family can’t bring the employer into court.
But as I told the New York Times when they called today, it gets worse. The family isn’t allowed to sue the co-employee either. Or, for that matter, the co-employee’s estate.
There are very few exceptions to the workers’ compensation rule prohibiting an injured employee from suing a co-employee. I’ve discussed those before here. None of the exceptions seem to apply in this case. Pilot error or not (and that’s debatable at this point), you can bet that the pilot’s estate will be asking very early on to have the case against it thrown out.