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June 18th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Should illegal aliens collect damages if injured while working in U.S.?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Three illegal aliens have been awarded a total of $3.85 million in damages for accidents on New York City construction sites.

The lawyer for the men says all these cases involved "terribly unsafe working conditions" and he re-emphasizes to all undocumented workers that they have the same rights once they're on the job as any New York citizen.

In one case - An undocumented plumber from Mexico was scalded by an exploding pipe at a Wall Street construction site; he settled his damage claim for $2.5 million.

Another undocumented Mexican worker suffered severe injuries when a steel beam fell on his lower body; he settled for $750,000.

And a third laborer from Ecuador settled a damage claim for $600,000 after being injured when three large trusses collapsed onto him.

One immigrant advocacy group says while construction work is often dangerous - undocumented workers are likely to work at sites that lack safety equipment and don't meet regulations.

Of course, it is illegal for an employer to hire an undocumented worker; but according to New York City law - if an illegal alien is hired by an employer he then has the right to be paid minimum wage and overtime, the right to health protection and workplace safety and the right to organize to improve labor conditions.

That is - even though these workers are in the United States illegally in the first place... and should have never been hired.

Here’s my question to you: Should illegal aliens collect damages for injuries sustained while working in this country?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Greg from Ontario writes:
No, and it's easy to fix. I'll bet all three of those jobs were bid on by several builders. What if the law stated that they lose the job and are kicked off the site if they use illegals? Weighing the possible losses against the poor quality, unsafe working habits of the illegals would be a no-brainer even for these greedy contractors.

Bill writes:
Perhaps if the illegal aliens could read English then their injuries could have been avoided. But, then again, the legal profession loves a happy ending to the tune of 35% of $3.85 million. Who says the recovery is slow?

Helena from Clearwater, Florida writes:
If the damages are against the employer then yes, the employer should pay the damages and the cost of all medical treatment. But as soon as the illegal status is revealed, the employee should be deported and the employer should be fined by our government. Maybe then this business of hiring illegal immigrants will diminish.

Gil writes:
Why should people who are breaking the law and cheating the system get to benefit from the laws and the system they're abusing? Why should they get any kind of reward or settlement? Take them to the embassies of their countries and wish them well. Their governments should take care of them.

Kevin from Dallas, Texas writes:
Absolutely. I'm not fond of illegal immigration, but if they get hurt on the job then their employer should pay damages.

D. from New Hampshire writes:
This is nuts. No, illegals should not collect damages and these companies should be heavily fined. With unemployment pushing 10% it should be no problem finding U.S. citizens who are willing to work. It just goes to show you how greedy some people are.


Filed under: Immigration
soundoff (135 Responses)
  1. MichaeL Duncan

    Honestly, this is just another example of what needs to be fixed in this country. I'm an American and damn proud of that. What our " schlocky" immigration system is doing is actually diminishing the value of being an American. This isn't the American I once knew. (God Bless American)

    June 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  2. ED

    I think illegal aliens should be protected l;ike everyone else from unsafe work conditions and should have the right to suit those construction companies that create those conditions. Any money paid in the financial settlement should, however, come from the construction company itself and not it's insurance company. Then, maybe the construction companies will begin to create safer workplaces and will think twice about hiring illegal aliens.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  3. Ermelinda

    I believe that illegal aliens should recieve money from injuries sustained while working. How can someone deny the money to an injured person legal or illegal. The person is human and should not be denied money. It is not the person's fault if the owner hired them.
    If the person is seriously injured, thier status should not matter.

    Bremen, IN

    June 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  4. Justin

    No, of course not. They should immediately be deported but on the other hand people shouldn't starve and there shouldn't be wars but stuff happens. People in this country have always tried to work the system to get as much as they can without earning it through fraud, slavery, get-rich-quick schemes, working the system, or breaking the law. It's the american way. We are known for our "wealth" for a reason.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  5. Mika

    Yes Jack, they should be able to sue. Sue the ones who hired them in the first place. If enough of these bozos are successfully sued their insurance will become unafforadable and will regulate them in a way they counts--in the wallet. If they have no insurance, then sue them into backruptcy and put them out of business permanently.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  6. Gary Clapper

    What are you nuts???? Let's imagine no one has to pay them for being injured on the job... that's even more incentive to hire an illegal. Not only is their pay lower but companies would have absolutely no finacial obligation to the injured "employee" regardless if the working conditions are safe or not. So business could just use them up and throw their maimed bodies back across the border and hire a new one. This question ties into an answer a person given you about the previuos "retirement" blog. I too was in IT and after 34 years I too was "retired". Meanwhile, the LARGE corporation I gave 34 years to keeps bringing in LEGAL Indian workers to replace us at low pay. Legal/Illegal, what's the difference, I still can't find a job (I have two degrees including a Masters). Sorry, so long winded.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  7. Matt in Hempstead, NY

    First,let's call them what they are CRIMINALS, those who sneak into our country and those who hire them. If a CRIMINAL employer hires a CRIMINAL alien than force the CRIMINAL employer to pay for ALL fines, medical costs, and penalties for the CRIMINAL alien. Then jail the CRIMINAL employer and toss out the CRIMINAL alien so an AMERICAN can have a job

    June 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  8. CH from TN

    Absolutely not. They are illegal. They should not be here to start with and certainly should not be given "legal" rights when they themselves are not legal. There should be harder penalties to companies who hire illegals and anyone who is illegal should be immediately deported. They should not be given money for health, injuries, or anything else. This includes those who make it into America to give birth. They should not be allowed to stay and should be deported straight from the hospital.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  9. Carole

    I have never believed in rewarding bad behavior, let alone illegal behavior. Illegally here and illegally hired and they want benefits like damages for injuries while working on the job? No way!!! This is like a huge invitation to continue the illegal activities by the workers and their employers. And exactly WHO is paying these damages? Any way you look at it, Americans lose.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  10. Tim, Deltona FL

    Jack, As far as I am concerned, illegal aliens do not belong here in the first place. If they get hurt on a job, they should be doing, then I say send them home for thier medical care. They broke the law entering this country illegally, and therefore they give up any rights afforded under the constitution. Period.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  11. Stephen Scalf

    NO NO NO!
    The easy way to enforce illegal immigration is to $UB$TANTIALLY penalize the employer and then deport the illegal at the expense of said employer. Put the unemployed American back to work! Not the illegal immigrant.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  12. Jul Paddy

    Absolutely Jack, that is a human right issue. Companies are not supposed to employ them anyway, so if they cut corners and employ these people, they should be responsible for their safety at work.

    Yes, they shouldn't be here but that doesn't mean they don't deserve to be treated with decency as human beings. Also, the term aliens brings some stigma and stereotype as if they are not human like us and that as well as demonising these people are a tragic set of circumstance that we need to change.

    Afterall, we are all immigrants here apart from the natives

    June 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  13. Howard Portland OR

    Jack;

    Yes, then they & their lawyer should be paid out of the proceeds of their employers liquidation in Bankruptcy Court.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  14. Mike from La Mirada

    Jack if employers hire illegal aliens, they should be prepared to treat them as they would any other employee; the fact that they're illegal does not excuse the idea that the employer has a responsibility to provide a safe work environment. I wonder how many employers would try to get around safety regulations if they not only got sued but also fined 10 times the amount of the settlements. The firm that hires illegals must be considered partners in crime with their illegal employees.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  15. Jon

    Jack,
    Of course illegal aliens should be able to collect damages from their employers. First, it serves as one more deterrent for their employment in the first place. Bu, second, once an employer violates the law and hires illegal aliens, they should have to follow the law in terms of wages, workplace safety, etc. Otherwise, the employment of illegal aliens can morph into de facto indentured servitude. These lawsuits are not about rewarding the illegal work of illegal aliens, but about punishing and deterring irresponsible behavior and illegal behavior of employers.
    Jon (Boca Raton, FL)

    June 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  16. Sharon in Florida

    A fair solution would be...

    YES, If a US employer knowingly hired them illegally in which case the employer should pay for its breaking of the law by having to pay damages that get split with the worker and gets paid as a fine to the government.

    NO, if the worker used fraudulent documents unknown my their employer.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  17. David P. Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – Yes. The Federal government is responsible for defining who is here legally and has the right to work. The State requires employers to provide certain safety and security to all their workers – it is none of the State's concern if those worker are legally here under Federal law. The US Constitution does not define citizenship, nor does it limit the rights of persons under it to citizens – if you are here at all, legally or not, the rules still constrain the governments, State, Federal and local, and the employers under their jurisdictions, as to how they may treat you. They are not supposed to hire you, and they may send you back where you came from, but you are entitled to free speech, freedom of religion, and equal protection under the law, nonetheless.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  18. Bill

    Jack : Heck no, they should not be here. This is just another incestive for them to come here. This is one of the reasons Americans become so angry, the logic behind this is so stupid.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  19. Fatal Puppy from New Yrok City

    I am a construction worker in New York City, not only can we not sue the consrtruction conpmanies we work for (we get compansation at lot less thana law suit), but legitimate companies have to compete with these non-union, imigratant exploiting, companies who do not play by the fair rules by skirting saftey regulations....all to save money...this is more fustrating than chinese math....

    June 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  20. tony

    Yes, Jack they should collect damages. If they couldn't, that would give the big Corporations another reason not to hire U.S. workers!

    June 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  21. Rich

    Yes, but not from a insurance company. Collection should made from the individual, company or agency that hired them.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  22. John

    Kinda surprised to hear you ask that question, Jack. But what about the second part? Should illegal immigrants be living in public housing while their nephews live in the White House?

    June 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  23. Sofia

    Of course they should, you get what you pay for. Many of these people are so willing to work they will take any job they can get even if they aren't properly trained for it. It's your business and you decide weather you want to risk it by hiring them. They aren't less than human for trying to survive are they? As for the idea that they should be here or not, is irrelevant , they are already here, it is up to you what you do with the opportunity when you have it.

    NorCali

    June 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  24. William Perrill

    Ask the capitalist companies who hired them They have insurance and they had no reservations about exploiting them for their labor. The employers knew what they were doing was illegal and non-safe. It increased their profit margins – that's why they do it.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  25. Amanda

    Absolutely they should. Unfortunately history has shown that many employers will cut corners and expose employees to any number of unsafe working conditions in order to save money. If those employees can't collect damages then morally flexible employers can be assured they can hire more illegals and put them in any number of dangerous situations without the fear of penalty if they are unjured on the job.

    I agree that immigration needs reform and employers should suffer penalties for hiring illegals. But illegal employment is a fact in this nation. Undocumented immigrants might be lawbreakers but they are still human beings deserving the same safe conditions as all other human beings.

    Amanda in Phoenix, AZ

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  26. William Kuencer

    I once was the injured party between a motorcycle and a car. I was on the motorcycle, but without any drivers license, so I thought I was at fault because I should not have been on the road at all. I sued anyway and was awarded a monetary award. However, my awaed was paid by a private insurance company, not the U.S. government. If these employers hire illegals, then those employers must pay all fines and fees.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  27. Jody Thellen

    I hate to say it but yes they should get payed. I also think that the owner of the company should be fined $500,000 per illegal alien for hiring them. Maybe next time he will think about "Hire American !"

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  28. Lou

    It appears that the employers are at the crux of this situation. Perhaps they could disfuse many of the illegal alien problems by checking into applicant backgrounds and then not hiring. Is a probem of cost? Then that's another problem that needs to be addressed on a global wage perspective. Answers need to start somewhere.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  29. Michael Rebollar

    It's true these people have come to this country illegaly, but does that mean that we can take away rights? We as americans pass laws and bills for ourselves and as an example for other countries. If we take away rights to certain groups of people, other's will look at our examples as discriminating. The employer's should be liable for the injuries that are caused at the work place no matter what the legal status of the person is because it is their fault in the first place for hiring them and they need to take responsibility for their actions, whatever they may be. These poeple shouldn't get punished for trying to make a better life and in the process getting hurt or dissabled due to harsh work conditions.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  30. tim mehary

    Jack-
    your bring up an interesting point, however, I'm thinking of a bigger question...will these 16 million or so illegal immigrants be eligible for the universal health care that is currently being discussed...if the are then who is paying for it , how many more hundreds of billions will it cost and will they sue if they can't get coverage, because they are "illegal"?

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  31. Joseph Wardy...Randolph, NJ

    Wow...illegal people suing for money....What is becoming of a country completely out of synch with a value system that is fair and equitable.

    Our "sue happy" culture has more attorneys in New York alone than in all of Japan. Here is an example why. Perhaps, some creative immigrant will testify to Congress to lobby for bailout money for people who have no right to be in our country. As we reward these illegal people, we have dishonorably discharged soldiers because they are gay. When will get out thinking straight?

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  32. Jim, Naples Florida

    Jack, Presidents Hoover, Truman and Eisenhower all had one thing in common.... a solution to immigration all-be-it politically incorrect in todays terms. They literally rounded them up and shipped them out. Does operation "Wet Back" ring a bell?

    In truth, the bigger issue is our dependence on illegal aliens to do tasks we just cannot get ourselves or our children to do. WAKE UP AMERICA.. we put these people here.. we will continue to pay for this choice.

    So please do not complain about the monetary rewards these men were awarded; they were doing jobs WE hired them to do and jobs that WE wouldn't do.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  33. Fred S

    Of course illegal aliens should be able to collect damages for injuries due to unsafe working conditions. Damages in such cases punishes the companies who twice broke the law: by hiring illegals and by having unsafe conditions. Sure, the illegal aliens broke the law, but their punishment should be deportation not victimization. Furthermore, failing to hold the law breaking companies accountable gives them an unfair advantage of their law abiding competitors.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  34. John Wong

    Jack,
    Last year you raised so many questions about Human Rights in China, why are you asking such a stupid question about human rights in America today?
    A Chinese-American
    San Marino, California.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  35. Paul Culotta

    Of course illegal aliens injured on a US job should receive damages –but at the rate they would receive in their HOME country, not the U.S. rate, since they shouldn't be here anyway. After this is calculated, outstanding US federal, state, and local taxes and fines should be deducted from the award along with the cost of deportation. Then they should be put on a plane or boat home. Problem solved.

    Paul
    Rome, GA

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  36. Diane (Alabama)

    In my opinion, the companies hiring the illegal workers are more responsible for the illegal practices. The workers are breaking the law by being in the U.S., but they could not succeed without the companies who are enabling them.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  37. Dean

    If your not legal you need to either get legal or get out...there settlements should taken away and be donated to the troops who went over seas and got injured fighting for americans and the american dream not fighting for all these illegals that come here to live off OUR system

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  38. thomasjasen

    First let me say, that as a black man, I harbor no animosity against the brown man. But let me add, while working as an electrical foreman, the supervisor gave me four Hispanic workers for a crew. Only one could speak English. After failing to communicate the dangers of the project we were assigned to...after minor accidents that I deemed were purposeful, I quit the job for fear of my own safety.
    Let me also add, that my brother in law recently applied for a custodian job held mostly by Mexicans, while he had years of experience, he was told that because he could not speak Spanish, they could not use him no matter how skilled he was.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  39. Patty Sims

    I think we should send the injured, illegal aliens to the hospital to recover from their injuries and as soon as possible deport them back to Mexico. Had they not entered the U.S. illegally they would not have been injured here.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  40. Sigrun

    They should collect damages from their employer. The employer should then be fined for employing illegal workers. If everyone worked legally we would have better wages and a safer working environment.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  41. David

    Absolutely not! The law should not protect you if you are breaking the law.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  42. SRC

    I think it's odd that anyone would believe these workers are not entitled to damages benefits if physically harmed by the work they do. The philosophy behind awarding damages of this nature are not based on citizenship but rather on basic human rights. People don't lose their basic human rights because they don't have a piece of paper saying they can work where they are working. Human rights are based on being a human being, not a legal citizen. Not allowing them to claim damages would lead to exploitation in any case – the kind of exploitation of labour that lead people to feel human rights were abused.

    Americans of all people should understand this.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  43. Thomas Bate

    Should the sleezy lawyers that represent the illegal aliens be able to expoit these workers? Collecting fees of anywhere to 40% to 50% of any monies collected, not to mention all the various expenses incured.. Often times the lawyers are the ones that instigate these law suits. Most Americans wont do these jobs, and certainly not for minumum wage, hence we have illegals.. Should they be compensated if they are hurt while trying to make a living? I think they should at the very least have their hospital bills paid..In their own countries they have few options if they get hurt on the job.. Welcome to America!

    Tom Bate/ Ft Lauderdale

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  44. Chris in Orlando, FL

    I think that these awards by these companies to illegal aliens might be the greatest deterrent against hiring them in the first place. If these companies know that they will be held responsible to the same set of laws that exist for legal aliens or citizens, then they might think twice before hiring them.

    -Chris in Orlando, FL

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  45. Molly

    Illegal aliens should not be allowed to collect damages if they are injured on the job. They shouldn't have been hired, and hopefully their employer has gotten into serious trouble for hiring illegal aliens. Soon they will all get injured on the job and go back to their country rich, or stay in the U.S. and continue taking money away from its citizens.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  46. Scott Johnson

    Jack,

    I guess the answer depends on who is paying the damages. If the illegal aliens are suing thier employers than so be it. It's all but certain they hired the illegal worker at a lower wage and figured they could take other short-cuts that may have also contributed to an unsafe work place. I'm 48 years old and one thing I have learned is that you get what you pay for. Maybe they will hire a US worker after losing a few Million dollars on illeagal aliens!

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  47. Kathy

    Does illegal even have a legal meaning? What about the company who hired the illegal aliens? Any funds owed to any illegal alien should come only from the company who hired them...illegally.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  48. Sharon

    Disability and recovery for injury in courts of law were put into place in this country to protect human beings. The "legality" of their existence on the job is irrelevant. Employers should not endanger ANY human; if their negligence causes a human being injury, the employer is responsible. Denying these rights puts us all on a very slippery slope. What's next? Someone murders an undocumented worker but gets off since the victim was "illegal"?

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  49. stan

    They should absolutely be accorded such protections. Not to afford such protections would only act as a further incentive for potential employers to hire them. In fact, there should be damages assessed against employers for hiring illegal aliens, unless such employer can show a good faith effort to determine whether an employee is legal.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  50. David

    The work the men and women we call illegal immigrant do contribute to the American economy, they have earned both the pay they get and the benefits due to them whether by award or otherwise.
    Remember the Law is made by us, we who a few years ago enjoyed the benefits of slave labour and the crow laws without appreciating the contributions of one half of the US population. Just let the guys collect, give them residency and they will be as American as any one of us.
    100 yea

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  51. Ellen

    Yes! illegal aliens should collect damages for injuries sustained while working in the U.S., directly from the people who hired them bypassing the taxpayers pool.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  52. Charlize

    Yes, only if the company who "hired" them under the table, pays 100% of their compensation. That would be a great lesson for them (the companies hiring illegals), so next time they'll think twice before hiring undocumented aliens and taking advantage of them, by having them work under extremely unsafe working conditions.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  53. John Smith

    Of course they should Jack. It is ironic that on the same day that the American Nation is finally apologizing for slavery, you protest that those hired with minimal pay in dangerous working conditions should not have the basic right to redress when they are injured in high-tech sweatshps. And apart from the fact that permitting reparation is the only morally sound option, isn't this a great way to create a strong incentive for those greedy American employers that hire illegal workers to take a hard look at whether their illegal and inhumane employment practices pay off?

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  54. Jean

    Illegal aleins are first human beings like all of us; if persons break the law and hire them, they should be compensated for their injuries, I think your beef should be with the Government for not fixing this problem and those who hire them.

    Jamaica

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  55. Mark (Minnesota)

    Absolutely they should, but not for some idealistic humanitarian reason. If illegal aliens are given comparable rights to legal workers, a huge chunk of the advantage of hiring them is negated. Why would you risk breaking the law to hire an illegal immigrant if it is no cheaper than hiring a legal resident? Give illegal immigrants as many rights as possible once someone is dumb enough to hire them and no businessman worth his skin will take the risk of hiring them. Soon enough job opportunities for illegal immigrants will dry up and they will be forced to pursue legal residency.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  56. Lou Betro

    Yes the illegal alien hurt should be able to collect damages.
    BUT because they are hired illegally, they should not be payed by any insurance company or gov't agency, but by those who directly hired them in violation of the law. If officers of companies and their hiring agents are held directly responsible this practice would be seriously curtailed.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  57. Sandra

    Whether I agree with the fact that they are here illegally or not does not apply to this situation. Any human being has the right to be treated equally. If the working conditions are not safe and an illegal immigrant gets severly injured on the job, they have the right to be compensated like any other person. It is not their fault that the job could care less about their well being. The fact that they are here illegally has nothing to do with a basic human right!

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  58. Scott C. from Louisiana

    If the gov't wants to be politically correct on cases of illegal aliens, the should at least get it correct and not only political. Since it's illegal to hire undocumented workers, full responsibility of injuries, legal fees, medical expenses, and all other costs associated with any undocumented worker should not be allowed to come from any insurance agency. Furthermore, insurance companies should be forced to deny all claims of undocumented worker injuries causing the company to directly pay all such claims and monetary settlements out-of-pocket.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  59. Shaun from San Diego

    Absolutely not. No damages can or should be collected while participating in or commiting illegal activities. Reminds me of the case of the robber who broke into the house and slipped, and sued the homeowner. Outrageous. I hope this is a joke, because if this is a serious question, our country is in more trouble than I thought. I hate to sound "non-p.c." but with a population of 300mil people, and a estimated 20-40mil illegal aliens, I can see how this is a HUGE factor in our spiraling economy. Thats almost a sixth of our population! Its a shame our politicians are more concerned about offending the latino community and raking in cheap labor, than enforcing the laws on the books. E-Verify anyone?

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  60. Karen Bydlon

    Jack,

    What's missing from your story is who has to pay? It is the employer, right?

    While I understand your position and agree with you about the insanity of this, I also believe justice is being served, assuming the employer who illegally hired in the first place is having to serve up the awards.

    If it's the citizens of New York, then I'm doubly blessed for living in South Florida.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  61. Dennis Muskardin

    YES ! Then fine the contractor !

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  62. Michele Browning

    Would we expect to be awarded damages for injury if we were in Mexico or Great Britain illegally? I think not!! We should heavily penalize ALL employers who hire illegal immigrants. If all the illegals went back to there home countries, the unemployment rates would drop due to available newly available jobs. There would be a net savings for hospital and school districts also. We need a documented
    "Guest Workers" program for necessary jobs.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  63. Susan Goldberg

    These payouts are coming from the insurance policies held by the employer. As their premiums increase due to payouts, perhaps they will screen their prospective employees more completely. If they were not offered the job, legal citizens could fill those positions.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  64. Dan

    If a employer is willing to hire illegal immigrants, then they should be punished by paying for any lawsuit they face .

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  65. Pat

    Seriously, Jack? If companies are greedy enough to hire illegal aliens and then put them at risk in the most dangerous jobs, then hooray for punishment through large settlements against them. Maybe in the future they will follow the law! It's too bad Americans are punished as well by paying court costs.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  66. Rich G

    Heck No!
    They work here but pay no medical insurance or SSI. They generally don't pay any income taxes either.
    I believe that ONLY US CITIZENS ARE ELIGIBLE FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE U.S. CONSTITUTION AND THE LAWS THAT SUPPORT IT. Non citizens, especially those in this country illegally, have no rights and that includes the right to sue another.
    The only right they have is the right to go back where they came from.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  67. richard bedgood

    This is indeed crazy! Lol, millions of us who work here legally as U.S citizens get the 3rd degree if you are injuried. Millions have lost there jobs, health care, homes and barely get help such a food stamps, gov't assistance etc. People that are illegally here get far more benefits and other assistance then those that are legal citizens.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  68. Charles Archibald

    Of course they should be protected by our justice system. People are people, illegal or not. What would you do, allow unfettered brutality at the work sites vis a vis absolute disregard for the health and well being of workers?

    Wake up. Get off you myopic self-righteous high horse and start thinking like a human being. Thank God our justice system looks at people as people and not weather they are legal or illegal.

    Charlie
    Hudson, NH

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  69. Dennis

    The only thing they should collect is a one way bus or plane ticket back to their own country. They need to deal with the consequences of their decision to disregard US immigration laws.
    This society is already far too litigious. We don't need illegal aliens compounding the problem.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  70. Eric

    No one comlplains about the illegals when they tend our gardens watch our kids and clean our homes or even cook our food.The way I see it work is work and an injury is an injury, if it was neglegance on part of the construction company then you should be awarded damages, although the labor was hired illegally and they are illegals they are still human we believe in human rights don't we.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  71. Dale Finley

    Yes, illegal aliens should collect. Employers hire illegals so that there will be no complaints about overtime and underpayment, or workers' compensation coverage. Do not give employers another reason to hire illegals. Make them liable as if they were hiring citizens.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  72. Miguel S.

    Yes I believe that illegal aliens should collect damages under the responsibility of the employer that hires them. If Illegal aliens are not given the same rights as citizens are, more and more businesses will abuse the system and hire more illegal aliens to save a lot of money and stray way from their responsibilities.

    What difference would it make for a business to hire a illegal alien if they get the same rights as citizens? Unless of course immigrants are not given these rights and then a employer hires them just to save a lot of money and get away with labor abuse whiles citizens are deprived of jobs.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  73. Randall Steffan

    Does the term "illegal" mean anything anymore? Of course, we live in a country where a person committing the illegal act of robbery can sue if he is injured in the act – so the incident in New York comes as no surprise. Employers must also bear responsibility since many illegal aliens are hired specifically because they are "cheap labor". Neither the illegal aliens nor the employers should benefit from this practice. Instead, BOTH should be proscecuted for their "illegal" acts!

    June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  74. M Brooks

    Of course undocumented workers should be able to collect damages for injuries caused bynegligent companies. They also must have the right to minimum wages, overtime, the right to organize unions, and every other right guaranteed to employees in the U.S. Otherwise you only give irresponsible employers even more incentive to hire undocumented workers. Penalize companies for hiring illegal aliens if you like, but allowing discrimination against these workers is wrong-headed.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  75. Monte Wilson

    Jack,

    This is the most riduculous question you have ever asked. Getting hurt on the job is about human rights. We are not a country that keeps slaves, or less than human people to work for our companies. If a human is working in an unsafe circumstance for a company intending to make a profit- than yes they have the same rights as everyone else!

    June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  76. Nick Coldren

    I believe these illegal aliens, who are still human beings, deserve the right to collect damages. If an illegal alien was killed on the job, I don't believe the employer should have the right to get away with murder. The root of the problem is with those who employ these illegal aliens. If anybody wants to hollar, hollar at the employers who exploit these illegal aliens by hiring them.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  77. Dave Meyer

    Jack,

    It depends on who is paying the damages. If the employeer is paying then why not? He or she is the one hiring an illegal in the first place, and should be on the hook for a dangerous workplace.

    Dave M

    June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  78. Ana Denmark

    What makes the US great is the idea that the justice system exists for everyone's protection. If an illegal alien were murdered or raped, should the justice look the other way? That would be ridiculous. The US should be safe for everyone here, not just citizens. In all likelihood, the construction companies were run by US citizens, who should be held responsible for endangering their workers.

    If we're going to deport illegal aliens, fine, but being an illegal alien does not mean they should be subject to exploitation.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  79. Gus

    The point isn't to reward the aliens, but to punish the folks who keep things unsafe. It's too expensive to have government employees monitoring every construction site for compliance with job safety laws and regulations. Damage awards are the only thing that might provide the motivation for employers to keep things safe. And, I'm sure at most 1% of those injured ever sue and recover anything.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  80. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    Americans would sue. They should too. That way maybe the sites will get safer for all who work.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  81. Susan Weatherholt

    If illegal immigrants can't sue for damages and didn't make minimum wage, wouldn't employers save millions of dollars hiring illegal immigrants for lower wages and no benefits? Wouldn't employers be incented to provide unsafe, cheaper working conditions? There would be virtually no penalty if an illegal immigrant were injured. Keeping illegal immigrants from getting damages have the unintended consequence of preventing more U.S. citizen workers from getting construction jobs.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  82. Darren

    Yes, I think the illegal immigrant should get the benifits of big settlements if they are injured on worksites. However, I think that the companies who hired these illegal immigrants should then be subject to further fines at least equal to the amount of these suits. It is, afterall, these companies who hire illegal immigrants who are a big part to blame for the problem the United states has with illiegals coming into the country.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  83. Randall

    Jack the answer is no. If they are in this country illegally and don t pay normal American taxes why should they collect damages in the US courts. Its unfair. Mostly because they wouldn't be injured if they weren't in this country at all.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  84. Matt in Seattle

    I am all for these individuals being entitled to sue because we cannot trust big business in this country to do the right thing. Imagine if these workers could not sue their employers for unsafe working conditions. Employers would be thinking; "Jackpot!". It would be an incentive to never fix any work place problems and to hire illegals knowing they could be immune from lawsuits.

    What I don't like is that illegals can collect on it. Maybe the awards for damages should go into a general fund to pay for illegal alien healthcare costs instead of being paid to the injured individual lawbreakers.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  85. David

    Mr. Cafferty;

    While I srongly believe that people who are in this country illegally should not receive any kind of government benefits or assistance, I think I might be in agreement with the judge on this issue.

    It is the responsibilty of employers to hire only people who are in the country legally. If this company has people who are working for them who are not here legally, then then the company did not do its due diigence in ensuring that the person they were hiring was qualified to work for them.

    Since the company hired these people, it has the responsibility to protect them as much as reasaonbly possible as it would an American citizen. This is the penalty that the company must pay for two reasons: it may act as a deterrant to hiring illegal aliens if they know they'll have the same rights to collect damages as a legal citizen, and 2. it will help to ensure that the company is doing everything possible to protect those people who are working for the company legally.

    These injuries could have just as easily happened to a citizen. Now, I hope the government is going to deport these people now that they know they're here illegally.

    Just my two cents,

    David

    June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  86. Victor

    Dear Jack,

    Absolutely not. This, for me, is the straw that broke the camel's back. I am a naturalized Citizen, and proud of it. It took my family and I four years and quite a few dollars to enjoy the privelidges of this great country.
    There must be some hidden force that drives people and politicians to be so sympathetic to the illegalities of these illegal aliens.
    Please tell your viewers what to do to combat this diabolical intrusion, not only into America, but into its financial system

    Thank you

    Victor Harold Las Vegas

    June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  87. Jason

    In short, yes. Anyone working in this country should be afforded the same level of protection and workers rights as native born Americans. Most, if not all, of these damages are paid by insurance companies. Those insurance companies should revoke the policies of the companies and individuals who illegally hire alien workers. Hire illegal aliens and you should risk the very real possibility of losing your business!

    June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  88. Nick

    An employer has to be responsible for how they treat their employees. A person has to be accountable for illegal actions injuring another person. Workers are entitled to their statutorily guaranteed minimums.

    "They aren't even supposed to be here" cannot be an excuse for an unsafe employer just as "she wasn't supposed to be here" would be a ridiculous argument for a rapist to make if he were to sexually assault an illegal alien.

    – Nick, Canada.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  89. Alex

    Yes they should. It raises the standard for employers everywhere, as well as limits explotation.

    The point you make "they should not be here' it is a narrow and ureasonable stance, as a matter of common sense they are here, they work more than many and get paid the least.

    I am sure your argument that illegals do not deserve fair compensation was raised by defense Attorneys, and a common sense jury made by the communty dismissed those arguments as unfair, insensitive and ultimately dumb.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  90. Lynn W

    They should NOT have been here in the first place,but if New York is stupid enough to pay 3.85 million ,let 'em take it...

    June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  91. Sandra

    Getting hired makes all the difference. An employer takes on moral obligations as well as legal ones. But . . . as usual . . . the problem is more complex than that. If employers don't want to be on the hook for damages, they should provide better conditions; if they are willing to risk legal repercussions to pay their laborers less, they should "pony up" when they get caught. We are currently dealing with the issue of "aliens" and our court system with respect to Guantanamo; this is a different but related problem. Morality vs. legality - there IS a difference.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  92. Chris Corley

    No Jack, Americans should not allow illegals to enjoy any healthcare, social service or educational benefit that should be reserved Now, even n more than before, illrgals should be penalized by being taxed for past utilization of our socal and educational services. In fact, no services should be made to anybody unless they are bona fide tourist.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  93. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Jack,

    the immigration reform has to be settled once and for all to recognize people who have been there for years and are part of the community and have no criminal records. Also, maybe companies should be charged the court settlements for unsafe working conditions since this would make companies think twice about hiring illegal aliens and or woud at least force them in creating safer work environment!

    June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  94. Kahenya

    Being undocumented I agree is not right. But being human is. At the end of the day, alien or not alien, they are human and deserve the same dignity an American Citizen has. Does being illegal at the end of the day mean that someone cannot claim for pain and damages? It would be absurd not to. They are human.

    There are people whose best choice in life is to be illegal, because a whole lot of others rely on that person for the basics. However, you would never understand it, until you are receiving a pittance for a whole family. Put yourselves in their shoes. Stop blaming the undocumented.

    Kahenya

    June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  95. Crystal

    Illegal aliens should have access to the court, mainly because we shouldn't give a free pass to Americans who exploit or otherwise harm them. In regards to damages, they should only receive enough money to pay for their medical expenses. It would be indecent to refuse to award them damages, because without insurance they likely will not be able to get treatment in American hospitals. Doctors suddenly become very helpful and friendly when you wave money in their faces.

    Augusta, GA

    June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  96. Tim Fotinos

    Safety is safety. An illegal injured should be paid the same as anyone else. If you pay, or settle, with illegals less than with citizens you will simply encourage corporate America to favor hiring cheap foreign labor instead of Americans. And ultimately there should be no excuse for employers not to maintain a safe work environment. An injured person is not getting a reward for being hurt, the employer is being punished for not paying attention to safety.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  97. Michael

    I’m baffled by your outrage. Why shouldn’t someone be compensated if injured by others’ negligence? If you deny them compensation, why not deny them medical attention too? Do you check an unconscious man’s legal status before calling 911?

    And if employers can injure illegal aliens without having to compensate, they would likely hire even more illegal. These companies hire illegal workers, put them to work in unsafe conditions, and you feel they have responsibility? Lovely, just lovely. What happened to compassion?

    June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  98. Purnell, Kankakee, IL.

    Its seems to me that the illegal workers have far more rights then I do and i am An American citizen. They have a right to get a job in the U.S., i have a right to have my hours cut, to keep a job. They have a right to minimum wage, I have a right to work without pay. They have a right of insurance and to collect if injured, I have a right to pay a high cost for insurance and then have the case denied by insurance company who make billions by not paying our claims. It seems to me they have far too many rights, and all I have is nothing!

    June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  99. kevin

    we should ask the secretary of state "HILLARY" if she was aware

    June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  100. Ted

    The illegal alien should be paid if injured on the job. But, since the law is broken by the employer and not the illegal, the employer should be forced to make those payments!

    June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  101. oswald

    if you hired an undacumented human, and he or she gets hurt on the job, they should be covered by the emplyer no questions asked jack..viva la raza

    June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  102. tony j

    As a electrician this subject really disturbs me. I think companies that hire illegals should be fined and penalized. What do you expect from "legal" lawyers.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  103. W QuickBear

    Absolutely Not!!! Illegal means Illegal, people who want to come to this country and work need to go through the Legal process to do just that. This is disgusting, when you are acutely aware of the struggles we live with here every day.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  104. Marty Martinez

    Yes. Illegal immigrants should be compensated for injuries sustained on the job. They often do double the work and are paid less than legal workers. THe employer benefits from this arrangement by making more profit off the backs of these people. If you don't want to pay an illegal immigrant for injuries sustained on the job, then don't hire one.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  105. Ying Chen

    Yes they should.
    They should also be fined for being in the U.S. illegally (or whatever punishment required by law).
    Allowing differential treatment by employers (in minimum wage, benefits, employer's liability for injuries, etc.) will only give employers incentive to favor hiring illegal immigrants over U.S. or legal immigrants.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  106. Ryan, Brooklyn, NY

    The importance to the public of damage awards is not so much in compensating the victims of negligence, such as these men, but in making it too costly for employers to maintain unsafe working conditions in the first place. In fact, if employers knew they could hire undocumented workers and then cut corners on safety with little to no risk of liability, this would just incentivize more dangerous workplaces and greater hiring of cheap illegal labor. In this case, what's good for these men is good for all of us.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  107. Chiagozie

    Despite being illegal, they are human beings like us and require same treatment like everyone else. All of us on earth are all aliens and should not accuse others of being illegal.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  108. B Boyce

    No fun way should illegal aliens, undocumented workers, nor other alternative occupants of the USA should be given the same rights as legal residents. Many other countries give their citizens rights above outsiders. The Bahama's used to be that way. If you were visiting the Bahama's and got into an auto accident then you, as an outsider, were automatically at fault, no matter what the facts were. We should be as diligent.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  109. Manfred tappe

    The Illegals should collect damages, as determined, but PAYED BY THE CONTRACTOR, thence deported. The contractors should than face legal action for hiring illegals.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  110. Sergio H from Maryland

    Jack...Why not? Yes, they are working illegally but they are also being hired illegally. We all benefit from cheaper labor. Construction, Lawn Service, Agriculture...Are you suggesting that we instead bring in expertise of the UAW to organize legal U.S. laborers and pick lettuce at $12 per head?

    June 18, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  111. john

    YES: Then the employers should then be assesed treble damages. The penalty portion going to the border patrol.
    John Novato ca.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  112. DMJ

    What's the point of people going through appropriate channels to become LEGAL citizens- when you can enter the country;find gainful employment; attain medical coverage; educate your child; and sue a citizen and win in court – all without United States citizenship – as Don King would say: "Only in America!"

    June 18, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  113. J Brown

    Yes illegal aliens should be paid for injuries caused on the job and it should come straight from the company who should then be penalized 10 fold the damages awarded for hiring an illegal alien in the first place.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  114. thomasjasen

    I'm sorry I forgot to add, in my opinion, they were not qualified electricians, they were cheap labor with me acting as boss and teacher for jobs every electrican worth his weight would learn as an apprentice.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  115. Espo

    Of course, they should be able to collect damages. If a company wants to higher undocumented immigrants for a lower wage or to skirt around having safe working conditions then they have to take responsibility when something goes wrong. They may not be "legal" citizens, but they are still human beings who have been devastated by terrible accidents and deserve to be taken care of the same way a "legal" citizen would.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  116. Myra-Bea Haertel

    How can someone whom is not suppose to even be working in the US collect damages for job injuries. I do not believe this is correct, no wonder we have such a large population of illegal aliens in the US. Too bad this doesn't work as well for US citizens. We are so busy taking of the illegal aliens, that our citizens are losing jobs and benefits. I cant help but wonder why we are beening so helpful to illegals, when we have tons of our own citizens that require the same benefits. I don't believe this to be the correct why to handle our illegal aliens problem. I'd keep coming in illegal too it I could reap the same benefits.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  117. Michael McDowell, from Killeen, Texas

    Jack everytime I see a story like this it makes me want to toss my cookies. How stupid as a nation have we become, that we pass laws that makes millionaires out of criminals? I do not believe in people getting hurt on the job or unsafe working conditions, but somewhere the taxpayer ie: consumer is getting stuck with the tab for this absurdity. Iceland and Sweden is looking better and better all the time.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  118. Andrew from Austin

    Jack, if we want to decrease the incentive employers have for hiring illegal aliens, shouldn't we hold them to the same standards for treating their employees, illegal or not? If we were to deny illegal workers the same employment rights that we grant citizens, it would make hiring illegal aliens even more attractive to employers

    June 18, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  119. Charlene

    Yes but the companies that illegally hired them should have to pay for all the damages and fees. They should also have to pay a hefty fine for hiring them illegally in the first place and ignoring the legal unemployed workers!

    June 18, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  120. Saidu

    The constitution grants all equality before the law irrespective of race,color, creed or country of origin. They should therefore collect damages if injured while working.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  121. Steve

    Jack,
    Your commentary is always enjoyable and thought provoking. I think any contractor caught with undocumented workers should have their licenses revoked....and the princpals in that business be banned from working in that state. We need to crack down on the hiring of undocumented workers. The contractors' insurers should have a clause that exempts them from paying on claims from undocumented workers....but yes...the workers should have access to our judicial system. Keep up the good work!

    June 18, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  122. Erin

    Every person deserves to be treated fairly. This is a basic human right but only citizens should be given the right to compensation from our insurance companies. These companies offer thier insurance with the assumption that these businesses are running a legal operation. The persons responsible for these injured illegals are those hiring companies. Those businesses should be responsible for payment of these injuries and I can't believe!!! an insurance company could be left holding the bag when these people were hired illegally. This is a crime... is it not?

    The company owners should be prosecuted accordingly and these injured Mexican men should be able to sue these companies for compensation. ..and then take that compensation home to Mexico where they could attempt to become a citizen legally.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  123. bob

    Of course they should, unless you want to dispute the very concept of damages for industrial accidents.

    The size of the awards you cite should not should be allowed to call into question the principle that is at stake here.

    Illegal aliens or not, all workers should receive due compensation immediately it has been determined by the appropriate court, which must seek reimbursement of the award from the employer concerned.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  124. Gary

    Yes I think that illegal aliens should be compensated for injuries they incure on the job while working here illegally.

    However I think that the Individual employing the illegal alien owes the compensation and should be paid out of his own pocket and not paid or covered by insurance. To have the insurance cover the injury compensation he should have to prove that he did not know that the injured Individual was an illegal alien including e-verify records and all actions he took to insure that the individual was not an illegal alien before he hired him. If he can't prove he took appropriate steps to avoid hiring an illegal alien then his normal insurance would not cover the accident.
    Maybe then he would think twice about on the job safety and hiring illegals. He should also not be able to file bancrupcy to get out ot paying the loss.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  125. Kim

    If these companies will not conform to the requirements now in place to determine a worker's legal status, maybe hitting their purse strings will do the job. It is because of greed that these business owners are using "immigrant workers" anyway. They like to say these are jobs American workers won't take; the truth is these are jobs American workers can't get. I would like to say however, there is some truth to American workers not taking these jobs. Maybe the CEOs should try maintaining health insurance, homeowners insurance, auto insurance, and keeping food on the table for $8.00 hour.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  126. Marion

    Marion – Sherman, Texas

    The actual companies or individuals who illegally hired the undocumented aliens should be 100% reponsible for any monetary payment for any injury. They should also receive a significant fine for hiring illegal aliens to begin with. The injured person should be sent back to their country of origin and not allowed to return to the U.S. unless it can be done legally.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  127. Clark

    Sadly enough, yes. Although illegal, if they were hired by a legitmate employer, and on the job, they should be entitled to any legal remedies offered to legal documented workers. The culprit is the employer who hired them, perhaps legally, or not. Ambulance chasing attorneys know which injuries will gain the higher awards, and they get them, with work comp rates paying lawyers at about 15%, or up to 50% percent if the claim is denied and the worker must sue the company privately. It is salt in the wound to be sure, but the only way to prevent these claims are much tougher hiring practices and document screening.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  128. Barney Gorter

    Any worker antwhere has the right to work under the safest conditions possible. Employers failing to provide such must accept the consequences of their actions.
    Since the employer hired an undocumented woker, the respomsibility is their's.

    Barney
    Milwaukie. Oregon

    June 18, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  129. Erika-Wichita, KS

    This is unbelievable!!
    Whoever hired them should be made ot pay a HUGE fine to the State. The illegals need to be sent back home to a hospital there, without any payment, because they broke our laws in the first place. Maybe then they stop coming into this country, when the free rides are not available anymore for them.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  130. Randy

    again.. America was built on immigrants.. but they should be legal regardless if they are Hispanic, Canadian, Russian, Italian or whatever.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  131. Vincent, Old Bridge NJ

    No, absolutely not. They are not legal citizens, and should not reap any more benefits from our country until they become official citizens.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:54 pm |
  132. Alvin Goldman

    O course they should. Otherwise you provide an employer that operates an unsafe workplace with an incentive to hire undocumented workers. In addition, you provide the workers' compensation insurer with a windfall–it collected premiums based on the number of workers but does not have to pay out when it proves the worker was undocumented. In addition, you reduce the insurer's incentive to police the safety and health conditions of insured workplaces. Finally, it is the decent thing to do. Our economic output benefited from the worker's efforts regardless of whether here legally. The misfortunes of workplace injury are a cost of economic activity and the misfortuneate workers should not be left out in the cold just because they are trying to make a better life for themselves and their families and have been enabled in doing so by an employer who hired them without adequately checking on their lawful status.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  133. Stella

    No, illegal aliens should not be compensated for their injuries. If you go into court with "unclean hands" as a plaintiff and you have acted unethically in your lawsuit, you would not win or recover money that you would have if you acted honorably. Therefore, if they are here illegally they should not be allowed to sue. The employer should be fined and made to pay their medical expenses and then when the illegal alien is able to travel, they should be deported just like they would be if they had been discovered by INS. It is absolutely appalling that one of these people actually received over two milion dollars in compensation for his injuries which he probably immediately took out of this country.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  134. George W - no relation

    Why do they call them aliens? Many are treated better. Guess the idea of having laws is for some politician to make money under the table. Just one of the perks. WIth bailouts and other criminals who are supported by our government gives a real good example for all to follow. Why do we waste our time. We may be a government of laws but if no one is enforcing them then we are really aren't united.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  135. Mark, Norwich NY

    Now wait a minute Jack. Maybe I should rob a bank, get caught, be able to keep the money, and not go to jail. Sounds like a the same thing to me.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:56 pm |