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Workers' Compensation

West Virginia: Tennessee Worker’s Death at Kentucky Coal Mine Not Governed by West Virginia Workers’ Compensation Law

In a divided memorandum decision, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia affirmed a circuit court’s finding that the widow of worker killed in a forklift accident at a Kentucky coal mine may not maintain a deliberate intent action against the West Virginia employer under W. Va. Code § 23–4–2(d)(2) where the decedent was a resident of Tennessee at the time of his death, the employer was engaged in the business of mining and selling coal through operations in Kentucky and West Virginia, and while the decedent had undergone “brief training” in West Virginia, had worked only at the Tinsley Branch mine in Pineville, Kentucky. The majority agreed with the employer that the widow’s rights lay exclusively under the laws of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The majority also indicated that under the doctrine of lex loci delicti, any wrongful death/deliberate intent action would be governed by Kentucky law and not that of West Virginia.

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 Mize v. Commonwealth Mining, LLC, 2017 W. Va. LEXIS 215 (Apr. 7, 2017)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 143.02.

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