Wyoming: Jury Determination That Driver Was Within Course of Employment Not Binding on Administrative Hearings Office

Wyoming: Jury Determination That Driver Was Within Course of Employment Not Binding on Administrative Hearings Office

Quoting Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law and observing that the test of liability in the workers' compensation setting is not the relation of an individual's fault or negligence to an event, as it is within the tort arena, but rather the relationship of an event to the employment, the Wyoming Supreme Court held that a federal district court jury’s determination that an employee was acting within the scope of his employment when he drove a motor vehicle and was involved in an accident that resulted in the death of a passenger/co-employee is not binding on the state’s Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH), which had previously denied a workers’ compensation claim filed by the employee/driver, who was also injured in the accident.  The court acknowledged that the two tests of employment relationship overlapped somewhat; they were not, however, identical.  The employee could not successfully maintain that the OAH was bound by the doctrine of collateral estoppel to accept the jury’s finding.

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 lexis.com.

See Carson v. State ex rel. Wyoming Workers’ Safety and Comp. Div., 2014 Wyo. LEXIS 44 (Mar. 31, 2014) [2014 Wyo. LEXIS 44 (Mar. 31, 2014)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, §§ 1.03, 127.07 [1.03, 127.07]

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

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