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Workers' Compensation

Ohio: Employee Injured When Struck by Co-Employee’s Driverless Vehicle May Not Recover in Tort







An Ohio court affirmed a trial court’s summary judgment in favor of a defendant who had been sued by a co-employee who sustained injuries in a bizarre accident that occurred in the employer’s parking lot. The two employees had completed their shifts and were walking to their respective vehicles that were parked in the employee area of the store parking lot. The defendant’s vehicle had a manual transmission and also was equipped with an automatic starter. As she approached her vehicle, the defendant depressed what she thought was the button on her key fob to unlock her door. Instead, she pushed the automatic starter button. The vehicle, which was in gear, automatically started, jumped a curb, and struck the plaintiff co-employee, pinning her to the building and causing serious injuries. The court ruled that plaintiff’s injuries occurred in the course and scope of her employment. The defendant’s action in depressing the start button was also incidental to her work. Plaintiff could not prevail in tort.

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 Kenney v. Ables, 2016-Ohio–2714, 2016 Ohio App. LEXIS 1582 (Apr. 26, 2016)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, §§ 13.04, 111.03.

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









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