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Workers' Compensation

New York: Minor's Fatal Injuries Do Not Support Intentional Tort Action Against Farm Owner

The mother of a 14-year-old part-time farm worker, who suffered fatal injuries in an unwitnessed roll-over accident involving a piece of heavy machinery, may not maintain a civil action against the farm owner, held a New York appellate court. Affirming a trial court's decision granting the farm owner summary judgment, the appellate observed that the state's Workers' Compensation Board had already ruled the death a compensable injury under the New York Workers' Compensation Law. The mother's civil action was barred by the exclusive remedy provisions of the state Act. The appellate court also noted that the record indicated the deceased teenager was using the equipment without anyone's knowledge or direction. While it could be inferred that the farm owner had been negligence, perhaps even reckless, there was nothing in the situation which pointed to an intentional injury.

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

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Smith v Park, 2020 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 3667 (3d Dept. June 25, 2020)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 66.02.

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

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see

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