Missouri: Wrongful Death Suit Allowed for Teen Killed on Job

An 18-year old girl was working as a cashier for Dollar General in Campbell, Missouri when her boyfriend entered the store with a rifle, he fatally shot her and then killed himself.  The employer claimed her accident arose out of her employment because she was assaulted on the job and the girl’s parents could not sue the store for wrongful death.

The court of appeals reversed a summary judgment in favor of the employer but affirmed a summary judgment in favor of her supervisor.  The court noted the summary judgment was a “drastic” remedy.  An assault might arise at work and preclude a wrongful death claim based on a defense of exclusive jurisdiction.  The court made a de novo finding that this case was an exception because the assault was purely personal.  Claimant showed up at work with a black eye, her boyfriend first appeared at the store and kicked down a door, and he appeared again with a rifle. The employer’s stipulation in its motion for summary judgment that the claim arose out of and in the course of her employment did not preclude a finding to deny a summary judgment because the statement was a conclusion of law and not an uncontroverted fact.   Flowers v City of Campbell and Dollar General, 2012 Mo. App. Lexis 1062 (August 31, 2012).

Source: Martin Klug, Huck, Howe & Tobin. Read Martin Klug's Mo. Workers' Comp Alerts.

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