Five Recent Cases You Should Know About (1/14/2011)

Five Recent Cases You Should Know About (1/14/2011)

Larson's Spotlight on Retaliatory Discharge, Development of Record, Civil Action Against Co-Worker, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Stress Claim. 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.

OR: Oregon Supreme Court Approves Punitive Damage Award In Retaliatory Discharge Case That Was 30 Times Greater Than Compensatory Damages

Reversing the state's Court of Appeals, which had earlier held that an award of punitive damages 30 times greater than the compensatory damages was grossly excessive under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, a divided Supreme Court of Oregon held that when the level of compensatory damages was small, the ratio between punitive and compensatory damages was of limited assistance in determining whether the amount of a jury's punitive damages award met or exceeded state goals of deterrence and retribution. Where the defendant's conduct was sufficiently reprehensible, a punitive damage award greater than 10:1 was not grossly excessive.

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: 2011 Ore. LEXIS 1. 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, § 104.07.

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NY: Judge's Refusal to Allow Development of Record by Employer Was Prejudicial

Where the law judge refused to allow the employer to develop the record by obtaining claimant's testimony and allowing the cross examination of claimant's treating physician and where there was conflicting medical evidence between the treating physician, a first independent medical examiner, and a second independent medical examiner, the employer's interests were clearly prejudiced and the judge's decision that claimant had sustained consequential injuries as a result of a work-related accident was not supported by substantial evidence.

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: 2011 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 35. 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, § 130.04.

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OH: Employee Struck by Co-Worker's Vehicle in Company Parking Lot After Clocking Out May Not Sue Co-Worker for Negligence

An employee who was struck by a vehicle driven by a co-worker as the employee walked across an employer owned and provided parking lot after the two had clocked out for the day was nevertheless still within the course and scope of the employment; the employee could not maintain a tort action against the co-worker because of the exclusive remedy provisions of the workers' compensation law.  Moreover, since the co-worker was not susceptible to suit, the employee could not recover under the uninsured motorist coverage provisions of her auto policy, held an Ohio appellate court.

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: 2011 Ohio App. LEXIS 8. 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, §§ 110.05, 111.03.

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PA: State Trooper's Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Associated With Investigation of Infant's Murder Was Not Abnormal Working Condition

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania recently affirmed a finding of the state Board that denied a state trooper's petition for benefits alleging post traumatic stress disorder related to the trooper's investigation of the crime scene involved in the murder of an infant girl.  Indicating the burden was on the trooper to show that the condition was caused by abnormal working conditions, the court agreed, based in part on the testimony of other troopers, that it was customary for claimant to investigate crime scenes, assist with forensic evidence, attend autopsies and collect physical evidence of the types associated with the particular crime at issue.

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: 2011 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 5. 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, § 56.04, 56.06.

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NY: Child Support Investigator's Stress Claim Fails Where She Failed to Show Her Stress Levels Exceed That of Other Similar Workers

In spite of the fact that in failing to file a required prehearing conference statement, the employer waived its defenses, the child support investigator was, nevertheless, still required to establish her claim.  Reversing an award of benefits by the state Board, a New York appellate court has held there was no substantial evidence to support the investigator's stress claim; while she did come forward with evidence that she had been subjected to stress in her work, there was no evidence that the stress level was excessive, nor greater than that faced by similarly situated workers.  Under the state's restrictive standard for mental claims, there could be no recovery in spite of the employer's waiver.

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: 2011 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 36. 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, §§ 56.04, 56.06.

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