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Federal: Valley Fever Sufferer Is Unsuccessful in Establishing Comp Carrier’s Extreme or Outrageous Conduct

January 29, 2016 (1 min read)







A federal district court in Mississippi dismissed a civil action filed by a Mississippi resident who contracted “Valley Fever” at a job site in California and who claimed that one of the team leaders of his employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier engaged in outrageous and extreme conduct when the leader allegedly asked the plaintiff, an African-American, why African-Americans were more susceptible than others to Valley Fever, and when the leader also allegedly told the plaintiff that before the leader could approve additional payments, he “had to understand more about Valley Fever.” The court acknowledged that the California Supreme Court had recognized an exception to the exclusive remedy provisions of the California Act where an employer’s insurance carrier intentionally engaged in outrageous and extreme conduct that could not be justified by the needs of normal investigation or defense of claims. Here, the court said, the acts of the team leader amounted at most to wrongful refusal to pay claims, which California law did not recognize as an exception to the exclusive remedy rule.

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

See Powell v. Zurich Am. Ins. Co., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8176 (S.D. Miss. Jan. 25, 2016) [2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8176 (S.D. Miss. Jan. 25, 2016)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, §§ 104.05, 114.02 [104.05, 114.02]

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see

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









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