AR: Co-employee Immunity Applies to Erratic Driving of Golf Cart

AR: Co-employee Immunity Applies to Erratic Driving of Golf Cart

The majority of jurisdictions provide immunity from tort liability for co-employees whose actions are within the course and scope of the employment [see Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 111.03]. Arkansas has a somewhat more restrictive rule, allowing co-employee immunity only where, in addition to being within the course and scope of the employment, the co-employee was “fulfilling the employer’s duty to provide a safe place to work” and was essentially acting as “an arm of the employer” [see Miller v. Enders, 2013 Ark. 23, 2013 Ark. LEXIS 38 (Jan. 31, 2013)]. Applying that more restrictive rule, a divided Arkansas appellate court recently held that an employee was entitled to immunity in a civil action filed against him by a co-employee who sustained injuries when the defendant drove a golf cart, in which the two were riding, into a retaining wall near a golf green where the two, as well as other employees, were participating in a “team-building” activity. That the driver-defendant was not plaintiff’s supervisor made no difference, indicated the majority. The employer had a responsibility of providing the injured employee with a “safe place to work,” and that duty extended to driving the golf cart during the team-building activity.

Reported by Thomas A. Robinson, J.D.

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. Bracketed citations link to lexis.com.

See Curtis v. Lemna, 2013 Ark. App. LEXIS 669 (Nov. 6, 2013) [2013 Ark. App. LEXIS 669 (Nov. 6, 2013)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 111.03 [111.03]

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

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