Oklahoma: Shareholder Land Owner May Be Sued in Tort Following Fatal Work-Related Accident

Oklahoma: Shareholder Land Owner May Be Sued in Tort Following Fatal Work-Related Accident

The Supreme Court of Oklahoma held that the sole shareholder of a corporation, who individually owned a property where an employee of the corporation sustained fatal injuries, was not immune from suit for common-law negligence under the provisions of the Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Act. Reversing the Court of Civil Appeals, the Court held the shareholder was not the decedent’s co-employee, for purposes of workers’ compensation immunity. Here the shareholder was not listed as an employee and he had expressly rejected workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Quoting Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the Court observed that while the employer could not generally be sued as a land owner, that rule did not apply here, since it was the shareholder — and not the employer — who had been sued. The shareholder could be liable for independenttortious conduct as a third party. 

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. 

See Lind v. Barnes Tag Agency, 2018 OK 35, 2018 Okla. LEXIS 36 (May 1, 2018)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 113.02.

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