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Federal: 4th Circuit Applies Virginia Law to Bar Construction Worker’s Action Against Subcontractor

January 23, 2015 (1 min read)







Citing Garcia v. Pittsylvania County Service Authority, 845 F.2d 465 (4th Cir. 1988), the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a federal district court’s dismissal, on exclusive remedy grounds, of a negligence action filed by a North Carolina construction superintendent against one of his employer’s subcontractors following an accident at a Virginia construction site. The Fourth Circuit held that the law of Virginia—and not that of North Carolina—controlled since the accident occurred in Virginia and was occasioned by the alleged negligence of a Virginia independent contractor who was performing work within the state and was required by Virginia law to have workers’ compensation insurance. The superintendent sustained severe injuries when an employee of the subcontractor accidentally backed over plaintiff with a bulldozer. On appeal, plaintiff argued that the Full Faith and Credit Clause required Virginia to defer to the law of North Carolina, the state that paid plaintiff workers’ compensation benefits, in determining whether the suit should be barred. The Fourth Circuit disagreed, indicating that Garcia controlled.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is a leading commentator and expert on the law of workers’ compensation.

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. Bracketed citations link to

See Demetres v. East West Constr., Inc., 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 629 (4th Cir., Jan. 15, 2015) [2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 629 (4th Cir., Jan. 15, 2015)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, §§ 111.04, 143.02 [111.04, 143.02]

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









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