New York: Removal of Safety Screen Was Insufficient to Support Intentional Tort

New York: Removal of Safety Screen Was Insufficient to Support Intentional Tort

A divided New York appellate court, applying the exclusive remedy provisions of the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act—the employee’s injury occurred there—recently held that a trial court properly granted summary judgment to an employer in an employee's action under intentional tort action against the employer [see N.J. Stat. Ann. § 34:15-8] where the alleged intentional tort—the employer's removal of a safety screen from a hot leather stamping machine—was but one factor to consider.  The court pointed out that there were no prior incidents or injuries caused by the machine, no evidence of deliberate deceit or fraudulent conduct by the employer, no OSHA violations, and the accident would not have occurred absent the employee's decision to retrieve a piece of stuck leather with his hand rather than the normal procedure.  The employer’s conduct, if true as alleged, was not “so egregious as to constitute an intentional wrong.”

Reported by Thomas A. Robinson, J.D.

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See Lebron v. SML Veteran Leather, LLC, 2013 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 5580 (Aug. 20, 2013) [2013 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 5580)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 103.03 [103.03]

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

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