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Idaho: Wrongful Death Action Following Helicopter Crash Against State Agency Barred by Exclusive Remedy Rule

July 21, 2017 (1 min read)

In a case with a bizarre factual background, the Supreme Court of Idaho affirmed a state trial court’s order granting summary judgment in favor of the Idaho Department of Fish & Game (IDFG) on exclusive remedy grounds in a wrongful death action filed by the father of a pilot killed in a helicopter crash in a remote region of Idaho. The pilot was employed by a small aviation company that had been contracted to fly two IDFG employees to the remote site to conduct a fish survey. An investigation revealed the crash was caused when, during the flight, a clipboard struck the tail rotor of the helicopter. Evidence was that one of the passengers became sick and opened the helicopter door, dropping the clipboard in the process. The Court agreed that IDFG was the pilot’s statutory employer and, as such, was immune from tort liability.

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 Krinitt v. Idaho Dep’t of Fish & Game, 2017 Ida. LEXIS 215 (July 11, 2017)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 111.04.

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