Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Work Comp RICO Case

The Supreme Court of the United States refused certiorari in Jackson v. Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc., denying petitioner’s request for review.  The Jackson case questioned whether a plaintiff could recover under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”) when an employer, its workers’ compensation benefits claims administrator, and an examining physician deny or terminate workers’ compensation benefits in an allegedly fraudulent manner.  Previously, an en banc Sixth Circuit denied relief, stating that the plaintiffs had “not pled an injury to their ‘business or property’ that is compensable under § 1964(c) . . . .”   RICO is “not a means for federalizing personal injury tort claims arising under state law.”

The Sixth Circuit’s opinion is here.

The Petition for Writ of Certiorari filed on behalf of petitioners Clifton Jackson and Christopher Scharnitzke is here.

The Brief of respondent Sedgwick Claims Management Services is here.

SCOTUSBlog’s case page, which includes amicus briefs, is here.

Note: Although this is not a Longshore or Defense Base Act claim, the denial is important for all workers’ compensation schemes including federal workers’ compensation schemes like the LHWCA or DBA.