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Workers' Compensation

Alabama: Removal of Safety Equipment Does Not Expose Employer to Tort Liability







Allegations that an employer removed “explosion doors” from a furnace and that a furnace explosion subsequently injured a furnace operator were insufficient to state a cause of action against the employer; the claim was barred by the exclusive remedy provisions of the Alabama Workers’ Compensation Act (“Comp Act”), held the Supreme Court of Alabama. Nor could plaintiffs state a claim under the state’s Employers’ Liability Act (“Liability Act”) since they had shown that no exception to the Comp Act. Recovery under the Comp Act and the Liability Act was mutually exclusive. The Court acknowledged that intentional tortious conduct committed “beyond the bounds of the employer’s proper role is actionable.” The plaintiffs had not alleged the employer’s activity in removing the explosion doors was outside the normal realm of its employer activity. The decision illustrates how narrow the intentional injury exception is in Alabama.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Ex parte Rock Wool Mfg. Co., 2016 Ala. LEXIS 35 (Mar. 18, 2016)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 103.03.

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









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