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Wisconsin: Comp Insurer Need Not Defend Employee Accused of Sexual Assault on Co-Employee

An employer’s workers’ compensation insurer had no duty to defend an employee, Rydberg, who had been sued by af co-employee who claimed that Rydberg sexually groped her while both were at work on the employer’s premises. The Wisconsin appellate court indicated that the co-employee had...

Federal: Leased Employee May Not Sue Leasing “Employer”

Where corporation A supplied licensed truck drivers to corporation B—an affiliated entity—under a three-year agreement under which the drivers worked at B’s facilities, but remained employees of A, who paid the drivers their wages and taxes, and retained total control over labor negotiations...

Florida: An Overview of Recent Decisions on Constitutionality of Workers’ Compensation Act

By Robert J. Grace, Jr., Esq., The Bleakley Bavol Law Firm, and Lyle Platt, Esq., Clarke & Platt, P.A. For two years now we have written about a collection of cases which represent the most closely watched and eagerly anticipated workers’ compensation cases since our statute went into effect...

California: Top 25 Noteworthy Panel Decisions (January-June 2016)

LexisNexis has picked the top “noteworthy” panel decisions issued by the California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board during the period January through June 2016. The list features a number of decisions addressing utilization review time deadlines and reporting requirements, several...

North Dakota: Widow’s Tort Action Fails Under State’s “Almost Impossibly Strict Standard” for Intentional Tort Allegations

The Supreme Court of North Dakota held the trial court properly granted a former employer’s summary judgment dismissing a widow’s wrongful death action against it because the facts alleged did not provide a genuine issue of material fact to avoid the exclusive remedy provisions of the Workforce...

Connecticut: Contractor With Contractor Controlled Insurance Program Enjoyed Immunity

A general contractor that implemented a contractor controlled insurance program (CCIP) to centralize the purchasing of workers’ compensation insurance for a major project has “paid compensation benefits” to the employees of its subcontractors, entitling it to “principal employer”...

North Carolina: Employee’s Tort Action Against Plant Nurses Fails Because of Exclusive Remedy Defense

The Court of Appeals of North Carolina affirmed a dismissal of a plaintiff-employee’s medical malpractice action against two registered nurses who were employed at a packing company’s medical clinic where it appeared the plaintiff was also a packing company employee and she had sought treatment...

Alaska: Former Employee May Proceed Against Physician and Employer’s Attorney Involved in Attempt to Terminate Workers’ Compensation Benefits

In a split decision, the Supreme Court of Alaska held that where a plaintiff (a former employee) and his spouse sued the former employer, its workers’ compensation insurer, a private investigator, the employer’s attorney, and a doctor who performed an employer’s medical evaluation ...

Alabama: Former Employee’s Civil Action Alleging Assault and Battery Barred by Exclusivity

A trial court should have dismissed a former employee’s assault and battery and tort-of-outrage claims against the former employer because they were barred by the exclusive remedy provisions of the Alabama Workers’ Compensation Act, held the Supreme Court of Alabama. The Court noted that...

Florida: Unrelated Works Exception Does Not Apply to Employees of “Horizontal” Subcontractors

As is the case with the majority of jurisdictions, Florida employees generally may not sue co-employees in tort where the alleged tortfeasor was acting in furtherance of the employer’s business. Co-employee immunity is limited in Florida, however, where the co-employee is assigned primarily to...

Louisiana: Teacher’s Intentional Tort Action Against School Board Fails

A teacher, who was six-weeks pregnant at the time of a classroom incident that resulted in her injury, may not maintain a tort action against the school board; her allegations failed to raise an issue of intentional tort and her civil action was, therefore, barred by the exclusive remedy provisions of...

New York: Opera Singer Can Sue Metropolitan Opera House for Injuries Sustained in Fall

A prominent opera singer at the Metropolitan Opera House is not an employee of the entertainment facility that featured her in more than 500 performances during his 23-year career; her employment contract was with her personal holding company and not the opera house, held a New York appellate court....

Washington: Employee Can Sue Co-Employee in Tort for Injuries Sustained in After-Hours Accident

Adopting the dominant rule discussed in Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law , Ch. 111, § 111.03, the Supreme Court of Washington held that a co-employee enjoys immunity under the exclusive remedy provisions of the state’s workers’ compensation law only when that co-employee...

United States: Michigan Federal Court Reiterates that RICO May Not Be Used for Bad Faith Claims

Citing two earlier precedents, a federal district court sitting in Michigan has once again ruled, in pertinent part, that racketeering activity leading to a loss or diminution of benefits that a plaintiff expects to receive under a state workers compensation system does not constitute an injury to “business...

North Carolina: Workers’ Involved in “Ultra-hazardous” Activity May Not Sue Employers in Tort

A North Carolina appellate court held that the exclusive remedy provisions of the state’s Workers’ Compensation Act apply to bar civil actions against the employer for all employees—even those that are engaged in “ultra-hazardous” activity. Acknowledging that at common law...

United States: Wrongful Death Action Following Explosion of Mortar Shell Barred by Exclusivity

Construing Illinois law, a federal district court held that plaintiff’s wrongful death action against the decedent’s employer was barred by the exclusive remedy provisions of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act [see 820 ILCS 305/5] where the decedent was killed by the explosion of...

New York: Golf Club Attendant May Sue Co-Employee for “Errant” Swing of Golf Shaft

Applying New York’s rule regarding co-employee immunity—that in order for a co-employee to be shielded from liability, the co-employee must (a) have been acting within the scope of his or her employment and (b) not have been engaged in a willful or intentional tort—a state appellate...

United States: Surviving Spouse May Not Maintain Tort Action Against Employer Following Robbery and Murder

The surviving spouse of a woman who worked at a Virginia apartment complex and who sustained fatal injuries when she was attacked and stabbed by a robber cannot maintain a civil action against the employer; the tort action was barred by the exclusive remedy provisions of the Virginia Workers’ Compensation...

Minnesota: Workers’ Compensation Provides Exclusive Remedy for Teacher Injured in Fight at School

A Minnesota high school teacher and lunchroom supervisor, who sustained injuries when he tried to break up a fight between two students during a lunch period, may not maintain a civil action against his employer (and various officials) for negligence, held a U.S. District Court Judge in Minnesota. The...

New York: Eucharistic Volunteer Trips at Altar and in Court—Tort Suit is Barred by Exclusive Remedy Rule

A volunteer at a Roman Catholic church, who on occasion helped distribute the Eucharistic elements, may not sue the church in tort for injuries that she sustained when she tripped and fell over an exposed power cord near the church altar; her negligence action was barred by the exclusive remedy provisions...

Texas: Appeals Court Overturns $43 Million Verdict on Exclusive Remedy Grounds

Where a general contractor enters into a written agreement under which the general contractor provides workers’ compensation insurance coverage to a subcontractor and the subcontractor’s employees through a contractor-controlled insurance program (CCIP), the general contractor is deemed to...

Idaho: Wrongful Death Action Following Helicopter Crash Against State Agency Barred by Exclusive Remedy Rule

In a case with a bizarre factual background, the Supreme Court of Idaho affirmed a state trial court’s order granting summary judgment in favor of the Idaho Department of Fish & Game (IDFG) on exclusive remedy grounds in a wrongful death action filed by the father of a pilot killed in a helicopter...

California Workers’ Comp Case Roundup: 10/3/2017

CALIFORNIA COMPENSATION CASES Vol. 82, No. 9 September 2017 A Report of En Banc and Significant Panel Decisions of the WCAB and Selected Court Opinions of Related Interest, With a Digest of WCAB Decisions Denied Judicial Review CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE © Copyright 2017 LexisNexis. All...