Ponce Law Workers’ Comp Case Leads to Changes in Tennessee State Law

by Mike Hoffman | December 21st, 2016

At Ponce Law, we’re known throughout the Nashville area for fighting to help our clients get the justice they deserve. Most often, this justice is obtained outside of the courtroom or in a lower court. However, every once in a while, Ponce Law has the opportunity to go the extra mile for a client, and that’s certainly the case for Carlos Martinez.

In 2011, Carlos was severely injured when a lawnmower ran over his arm while he was working for a landscaping company. Because Carlos was an undocumented worker, his rights under Tennessee state law were limited as to how much compensation he could receive for his injuries. The state law that set these limits was in direct conflict with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, a federal law that would have protected Carlos’ right to compensation. Attorney Brian Dunigan and the workers’ compensation lawyers at Ponce Law believed this conflict made the Tennessee law unconstitutional. In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court agreed.

Beyond ensuring Carlos the workers’ compensation benefits he deserves, this landmark decision may influence the hiring choices Tennessee employers make moving forward. Before the decision, employers could hire undocumented immigrants for less money knowing that if they were injured, their rights to workers’ compensation benefits were limited. With that loophole now gone, all Tennessee residents will be protected in the event of a work injury. Click here to view our press release on the Tennessee Supreme Court opinion.

At Ponce Law, we fight for every client who comes through our doors with the same tenacity. If you’ve been injured on the job, give our experienced Nashville workers’ compensation attorneys a call today for a free consultation. We know what you’re going through. We know what you’re up against. And we know how to help.