McCarty v. Verizon New England Inc., No. 11-1430 (1st Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
An employee crashed a Verizon truck and admitted to snorting heroin earlier that day. When his supervisor visited his home to have paperwork completed, the encounter became hostile. Verizon fired him. He filed a Massachusetts workers' compensation claim, based on injuries from the accident and alleged psychological harm based on-the-job harassment by the supervisor before the accident and the supervisor's visit to the house. An ALJ rejected the claims and the review board affirmed. A state court affirmed. Employee filed a second workers' compensation claim pertaining solely to the incident at the house. The claim was rejected by the ALJ as res judicata; the board and court affirmed, with an award of double costs against the employee for frivolous appeal. Employee then filed suit against Verizon and the supervisor, charging intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and trespass. The court dismissed, based on preemption provisions of the Labor Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. 185(a), and the exclusivity provision of the Compensation Act, Mass. Gen. L. ch. 152, 24. The court ordered plaintiff's attorney to pay $34,908.12 to reflect only defendants’ attorney fees incurred after the court's warning about the lawsuit's viability. The First Circuit affirmed.