Five Recent Cases You Should Know About (7/9/2010)

Five Recent Cases You Should Know About (7/9/2010)

Larson’s Spotlight on Attorney’s Fees, Exclusive Remedy, Injury En Route to Medical Appointment, Total Disability, and Off-Duty Torts. Larson's surveys the latest case developments that you need to know about. Thomas A. Robinson, the staff writer for Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, has compiled the list below.

CA: Trial Court Lacks Jurisdiction to Hear Attorneys' Class Action for Unpaid Interest on Awards of Attorney Fees

A California appellate court recently affirmed a trial court's dismissal with prejudice of claims of plaintiff attorneys who in six related class action complaints alleged that the defendant employers and insurers failed to pay them and the putative class interest owed on attorney fee awards issued by the Workers' Compensation Appeal Board ("WCAB"). Defendants had argued that the plaintiffs lacked standing to pursue claims for interest because the right of recovery belonged solely to the injured workers, and that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to grant the relief requested because the WCAB awards at issue did not provide for the payment of interest. The appellate court held that under the relevant provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act, plaintiffs indeed had standing to seek interest on the attorney fees awarded directly to them by the WCAB; however, the trial court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the claims for unpaid interest where the WCAB did not expressly order the payment of interest in its attorney fee awards.

FREE VERSION: Access the case on lexisONE free case law. Click on tab for Free Case Law. Click on the radio button for Search by Citation. Enter this citation: 2010 Cal. App. LEXIS 1041. Then click on the red button Search for Free. Note: If you haven’t registered for free at lexisONE, you will be prompted to do so in order to access the free case law.

FULLY FEATURED VERSION: Lexis.com subscribers can read the fully featured case here. See generally Larson's Workers' Compensation Law, § 134.04.

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CA: Plaintiff's Allegations of Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress Are Barred by the Exclusive Remedy Provisions of the State's Workers' Compensation Law

A California appellate court recently held that one count in plaintiff's complaint that alleged that his former employer was liable for intentional infliction of emotional distress could not survive as against the exclusive remedy defense where the misconduct all occurred in the workplace and involved criticisms of job performance or other conflicts arising from the employment, and while offensive and clearly inappropriate, it all arose from risks encompassed within the compensation bargain.

FREE VERSION: Access the case on lexisONE free case law. Click on tab for Free Case Law. Click on the radio button for Search by Citation. Enter this citation: 2010 Cal. App. LEXIS 1029. Then click on the red button Search for Free. Note: If you haven’t registered for free at lexisONE, you will be prompted to do so in order to access the free case law.

FULLY FEATURED VERSION: Lexis.com subscribers can read the fully featured case here. See generally Larson's Workers' Compensation Law, § 104.05.

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NE: Injuries Sustained in Traffic Accident on Way to Hospital for Treatment of Earlier Compensable Injury Are Also Compensable

Citing Larson's Workers' Compensation Law, the Supreme Court of Nebraska recently affirmed a decision by the state's Workers' Compensation Court awarding benefits for injuries sustained in an automobile accident on a trip to a hospital for follow-up treatment of an earlier, compensable injury. The court adopted a rule that an employee who injured while en route to a medical appointment for a covered injury is acting within the course and scope of his or her employment, as long as the route taken is reasonable and practical. The fact that the accident occurred after an errand of dropping off his children at a babysitter's house did not alter the court's thinking as the employee was continuing on the business errand of attending his medical appointment.

FREE VERSION: Access the case on lexisONE free case law. Click on tab for Free Case Law. Click on the radio button for Search by Citation. Enter this citation: 2010 Neb. LEXIS 81. Then click on the red button Search for Free. Note: If you haven’t registered for free at lexisONE, you will be prompted to do so in order to access the free case law.

FULLY FEATURED VERSION: Lexis.com subscribers can read the fully featured case here. See generally Larson's Workers' Compensation Law, § 10.07.

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NC: Worker Awarded Total Disability Benefits Where Cancer Prevented Surgery to Repair Her Knee That Had Been Injured in Work-related Accident

An appellate court in North Carolina has agreed that plaintiff's evidence established that her non-work-related cancer aggravated and conjoined with her admittedly compensable right knee injury to preclude surgical repair of the knee; she was accordingly entitled to compensation for total permanent disability and no apportionment of her award was proper when the employer presented no evidence attributing any portion of plaintiff's disability solely to her compensable work-related injury.

FREE VERSION: Access the case on lexisONE free case law. Click on tab for Free Case Law. Click on the radio button for Search by Citation. Enter this citation: 2010 N.C. App. LEXIS 1122. Then click on the red button Search for Free. Note: If you haven’t registered for free at lexisONE, you will be prompted to do so in order to access the free case law.

FULLY FEATURED VERSION: Lexis.com subscribers can read the fully featured case here. See generally Larson's Workers' Compensation Law, § 90.01.

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NC: Employer Not Liable for Off-Duty Torts of its Employees

In an unusual case from North Carolina, a state appellate court has affirmed a trial court's order granting summary judgment to the defendant food store chain in a personal injury action filed by one Food Lion employee against another for injuries sustained when the latter had clocked out for the day and was hurrying to the bathroom, opening the door too quickly, striking plaintiff and knocking plaintiff down to the floor. Plaintiff unsuccessfully maneuvered a legal mine field. Plaintiff's respondeat superior claim depended the co-employee's general duty to inspect the bathroom and report back its condition to management, even after she had clocked out. According to the court, however, defendant had no control over the actions of its employees once they clocked out of work, even if they remained on the premises. Defendant could not, therefore, be liable for their off-the-clock actions.

FREE VERSION: Access the case on lexisONE free case law. Click on tab for Free Case Law. Click on the radio button for Search by Citation. Enter this citation: 2010 Cal. App. LEXIS 1041. Then click on the red button Search for Free. Note: If you haven’t registered for free at lexisONE, you will be prompted to do so in order to access the free case law.

FULLY FEATURED VERSION: Lexis.com subscribers can read the fully featured case here. See generally Larson's Workers' Compensation Law, § 21.06.

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

 Offer good through December 2010.