Larson’s Spotlight on Recent Cases: Extended Premises Doctrine Applied to Slip and Fall Case

Larson's Spotlight on Premises Doctrine, Intentional Tort, Occupational Disease, and Covered Situs. Larson's surveys the latest case developments that you need to know about. Thomas A. Robinson, the staff writer for Larson's Workers' Compensation Law, has compiled the list below.

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VA: Court Uses "Extended Premises Doctrine" to Justify Compensation in Slip and Fall Case

A registered nurse, who slipped and fell on a sidewalk that extended from a parking lot to an office building where her employer and a number of other tenants rented space, sustained a compensable injury that arose out of or in the course of her employment, held a Virginia appellate court recently.  Quoting Larson's Workers' Compensation Law and relying on past precedent, the court indicated that under the "extended premises doctrine" the walkway was "in practical effect" a part of the employer's premises in spite of its availability to the public at large.

See Capital Area Pediatrics, Inc. v. Eken, 2013 Va. App. LEXIS 141 (May 7, 2013) [2013 Va. App. LEXIS 141 (May 7, 2013)].

See generally Larson's Workers' Compensation Law, § 13.04 [13.04].

FL: Intentional Tort Case Against Co-Employee for Defective Alarm System Fails Under "Virtual Certainty" Standard

Applying the state's "virtual certainty" standard to determine if the exclusive remedy provision would shield a co-employee from tort liability, a Florida appellate court recently held that to fall within the standard, a given danger would need to result in an accident "almost every time."  Here an employee suffered fatal injuries when he was struck and pinned between a tractor-trailer and a warehouse docking pad.  Evidence suggested that the vehicle's backup alarm had not been working for several months, that the co-employee knew of the defective condition on his truck and had failed to notify anyone.  The court reasoned that while there was certainly evidence of gross negligence on the part of the co-employee, it did not rise to the level of "virtual certainty" required under the Florida statute.

See Boston v. Publix Super Markets, Inc., 2013 Fla. App. LEXIS 6924 (May 1, 2013) [2013 Fla. App. LEXIS 6924 (May 1, 2013)].

See generally Larson's Workers' Compensation Law, § 103.04 [103.04].

NV: Firefighter Need Not Rely on Special Occupational Disease Presumption to Establish Cancer Claim

Nevada, like a number of other states, has a statute that provides for a qualified, rebuttable presumption that a firefighter's cancer constitutes a compensable occupational disease [NRS 617.453].  The Nevada Supreme Court recently affirmed an award of workers' compensation benefits to a firefighter who did not qualify for the presumption because he had been employed less than five years at the time he contracted a brain tumor.  His employer argued, and a hearing officer found, that since he did not meet the presumption's requirements, he could not successfully maintain his claim.  The high court disagreed.  The firefighter need not rely upon the presumption.  Instead, the claim could be proved by a preponderance of the evidence under the statutes that delineated the requirements for establishing a compensable occupational disease [NRS 617.440 and 617.358].  The firefighter presented competent medical evidence that his brain tumor was caused by employment conditions.

See City of Las Vegas v. Evans, 2013 Nev. LEXIS 38 (May 2, 2013) [2013 Nev. LEXIS 38 (May 2, 2013)].

See generally Larson's Workers' Compensation Law, § 52.07 [52.07].

US: Fifth Circuit Overrules 1980 Longshore Decision, "Covered Situs" Must Actually Adjoin Navigable Waters

Overruling Winchester Texports Stevedore Co. v. Winchester, 632 F.2d 504 (5th Cir. 1980), which permitted a covered situs to be close to or in the vicinity of navigable waters, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that coverage under the LHWCA, 33 U.S.C.S. § 903(a), required that a claimant's injury occur on a situs that actually adjoined navigable waters; a situs that was merely close to or in the vicinity of navigable waters was not covered. Here the facility where the employee worked was 300 yards from navigable waters.

See New Orleans Depot Services, Inc. v. Office of Workers' Comp. Programs, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 8674 (Apr. 29, 2013) [2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 8674 (Apr. 29, 2013)].

See generally Larson's Workers' Compensation Law, § 145.03 [145.03].

Source: Larson's Workers' Compensation Law, the nation's leading authority on workers' compensation law.

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