Louisiana: $13 Million Intentional Tort Verdict and Judgment Overturned as to Statutory Employer

Louisiana: $13 Million Intentional Tort Verdict and Judgment Overturned as to Statutory Employer

Reversing a judgment rendered in favor of plaintiffs after an eight-day trial in which the jury in relevant part found a general contractor liable to its statutory employee for an “intentional act,” a Louisiana appellate court ruled that the contractor’s actions in connection with the collapse of a steel reinforcing bar (rebar) cage built during a 2009 bridge-widening project near the mouth of the Mississippi River were “certainly negligent and perhaps even grossly negligent,” but they did not rise to the level of an intentional act as discussed in Bazley v. Tortorich, 397 So.2d 475, 480 (La. 1981) and its progeny. Citing Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the court indicated the intentional tort exclusion is a narrow one, that even where the employer (or statutory employer) knowingly permits a hazardous work condition to exist or knowingly orders a claimant to perform an extremely dangerous job or willfully fails to furnish a safe place to work, this still falls short of the kind of intention to injure that rises to the level of intentional act.

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 Maldonado v. Kiewit Louisiana Co., 2014 La. App. LEXIS 1420 (May 30, 2014) [2014 La. App. LEXIS 1420 (May 30, 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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