Washington: Tasered Trooper’s Tort Action Against State Patrol Not Barred By Exclusive Remedy Rule

Washington: Tasered Trooper’s Tort Action Against State Patrol Not Barred By Exclusive Remedy Rule

A Washington state appellate court held that the state’s exclusive remedy rule did not bar a trooper’s tort action alleging deliberate intentional infliction of “certain injury” sustained when he was “shot” with a Taser during police training.  Denial of the state patrol’s motion for summary judgment was accordingly affirmed.  The court indicated that taken in the light most favorable to the plaintiff patrol officer, the record showed that (1) the employer required Taser training for troopers opting to use Tasers on the job; (2) the employer knew at a minimum that the Taser barbs would wound and deliver an electric shock on contact with a trooper's back; and (3) despite this knowledge of certain injury, the employer shot troopers with Tasers during training, which it required of all troopers using Tasers in the course of performing their duties. The trooper had, therefore, established a material issue of fact about whether the employer deliberately intended to injure him.

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 Michelbring v. Washington St. Patrol, 2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 973 (Apr. 23, 2014) [2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 973 (Apr. 23, 2014)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 103.04 [103.04]

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

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