Workers' Compensation

Wyoming: Father May Maintain Tort Action Against Employer for Mental Injury Associated With Son’s Death

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Supreme Court of Wyoming found that a negligent infliction of emotional distress claim filed by an employee against the employer and one of the employer’s superintendents following the death of his son, who also worked for the employer at the same work site, was not derivative of the associated covered injury or death. Accordingly, the father’s civil action was not necessarily barred by workers’ compensation immunity. The Court also overruled Anderson v. Solvay Minerals, Inc., 3 P.3d 236 (Wyo. 2000), to the extent it held to the contrary. Central also to the case is the fact that the Wyoming Act does not provide benefits for mental-mental injuries. In earlier decisions, the Court had ruled that the exclusive remedy provisions of the Act did not bar an employee’s mental injury claim. It is also important to note that had the father not been a co-employee, he would not have been able to recover.

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. Bracketed citations link to lexis.com.

See Collins v. COP Wyoming, LLC, 2016 WY 18, 2016 Wyo. LEXIS 18 (Feb. 10, 2016) [2016 WY 18, 2016 Wyo. LEXIS 18 (Feb. 10, 2016)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, §§ 56.04, 100.04, 104.05 [56.04, 100.04, 104.05]

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see http://www.workcompwriter.com/wyoming-father-may-sue-employer-for-anguish-related-to-co-employee-sons-death/

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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