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La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 23:1032 provides in part: The rights and remedies herein granted to an employee on account of an injury shall be exclusive of all other rights and remedies against his employer, or any principal or any officer, director, stockholder, partner or employee of such employer or principal. Nothing in this Chapter shall affect the liability of the employer, or any officer, director, stockholder, partner or employee of such employer or principal to a fine or penalty under any other statute or the liability, civil or criminal, resulting from an intentional act.
This is a suit brought in tort by a former employee against his employer. The plaintiff, Ruben Caudle, alleged that the defendant, Peter Betts, touched the back of Caudle’s head and neck with a charged automobile condenser which resulted in injuries to Caudle’s occipital nerve. The trial court held that Betts’ act was not intentional under La. R.S. 23:1032 and, thus, dismissed Caudle’s suit stating that his only remedy was for worker's compensation benefits. From the trial court's judgment of dismissal, Caudle appealed.
Was Betts’ shocking of Caudle with a charged automobile condenser an "intentional act" as contemplated by La. R.S. 23:1032?
The court found that Betts tossed the condenser as a practical joke and intended to shock, but not injure, Caudle. The court held that Caudle’s exclusive remedy was for worker's compensation benefits.