Workers' Compensation

Texas: Deceased Worker’s Family Successfully Rebuts Marijuana Intoxication Presumption

Where lay witnesses testified that the decedent had the “normal” use of his mental and physical facilities on the day of an employee’s fatal accident, a jury could reasonably find that the deceased employee’s beneficiary had sufficiently rebutted the presumption of intoxication found in Tex. Lab. Code Ann. § 401.013(c). The verdict was not against the weight of the evidence in spite of the fact that a blood test and urinalysis showed the presence of marijuana in the decedent’s system. The court stressed intoxication was defined in the Texas Labor Code as not having the normal use of mental or physical facilities resulting from the voluntary introduction into the body of a controlled substance. The court found that expert medical evidence was not always required to rebut the presumption.

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 Unique Staff Leasing, Ltd. v. Cates, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 8174 (July 29, 2016)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 36.03.

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