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Virginia: Wrongful Death Action Related to Death of Police Recruit From Blow to Head in Training Barred by Exclusivity

September 22, 2014 (1 min read)

The Supreme Court of Virginia affirmed the dismissal of a widow’s wrongful death action filed against the chief of police of the City of Norfolk and other police officials following the death of her husband, who died after receiving several blows to the head during his training as a recruit at the Norfolk Police Academy.    Those cases usually involved matters of observable causation where the doctors testified negatively and the board had found causation.  The court indicated the training was a condition of employment; the civil action was accordingly barred by the exclusive remedy provisions of the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act.  Whether the death was hastened by a single blow to the head or from multiple blows received over a period of several days did not matter, indicated the court.  While in certain instances, repetitive injuries are not compensable under the Workers’ Compensation Act, the facts here were clearly distinguishable from the line of Virginia cases dealing with repetitive trauma over a considerable period of time.

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 Kohn v. Marquis, 2014 Va. LEXIS 117 (Sept. 12, 2014) [2014 Va. LEXIS 117 (Sept. 12, 2014)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 100.04 [100.04]

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

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