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Workers' Compensation

Texas: Exclusive Remedy Defense Bars Worker's Suit Against Employer for Dog Bite at Work

A Texas appellate court affirmed a trial court's decision granting summary judgment to an employer in a tort suit filed against it by a plaintiff-employee who alleged a co-employee brought a dog to work and the dog bit the plaintiff during the workday. The plaintiff contended her civil action was not barred by the exclusivity defense since she contended the co-employee's action of bring the dog to work was not within the course and scope of the co-employee's employment. The appellate court noted that the employer's "business" was to provide a home and counseling to pregnant women who planned to give up their babies for adoption, that a number of residents had asked the co-employee to bring the dog to the employer's residential facility in order that it might function as a "comfort" animal, and that the plaintiff had sought and received workers' compensation benefits following the bite.

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 Robinson v. Cox, 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 9441 (Dec. 3, 2020)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 111.03.

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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