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Workers' Compensation

United States: Injured Worker May Proceed Against Employer’s Commercial Vehicle Policy

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, construing West Virginia law, held that an injured employee could try to recover pursuant to his employer’s commercial vehicle liability insurance policy, since the owner of his employer, a construction company, had directed a homeowner, upon whose property the employee and others were working, to move one of the company vehicles that was blocking the homeowner’s driveway. In moving the vehicle, the homeowner struck the employee, causing injury. The Fourth Circuit acknowledged that the policy had a typical workers’ compensation exclusion, but held it was not applicable under the facts. The Court reasoned that the injured employee’s negligence claim against the homeowner was a third-party claim, not a claim filed pursuant to the West Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act. Accordingly, the exclusion did not apply.

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

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See United Fin. Cas. Co. v. Ball, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 32470 (4th Cir. Oct. 30, 2019)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 110.01.

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

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see