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United States: Wrongful Death Action Following Explosion of Mortar Shell Barred by Exclusivity

March 09, 2017 (1 min read)

Construing Illinois law, a federal district court held that plaintiff’s wrongful death action against the decedent’s employer was barred by the exclusive remedy provisions of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act [see 820 ILCS 305/5] where the decedent was killed by the explosion of a live mortar shell that had been transferred from the U.S. Army’s National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California to the employer’s facility in Granite City, Illinois. The court acknowledged that the plaintiff had alleged the employer acted intentionally in transporting dangerous materials, but noted that the plaintiff had not alleged the employer acted intentionally in injuring the decedent. In fact, the court indicated that the plaintiff’s complaint had alleged negligence. The claim was clearly preempted.

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 Muenstermann v. United States, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31371 (Mar. 6, 2017)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 103.03.

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