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Washington: Trooper May Proceed in Tort Against Employer for Taser Injury

Acknowledging that in light of a decision by the Washington Supreme Court, it had erred in holding that the deliberate intention exception to workers’ compensation exclusivity was to be “liberally interpreted,” a state appellate court held that even under a narrow interpretation of...

California: Claim Against UR Physician Not Preempted by Workers’ Compensation Law

Noting that a utilization review physician has a doctor-patient relationship with the person whose medical records are being reviewed, a California appellate court held that in at least some circumstances an injured worker and his wife could maintain a civil action against a physician for a workers’...

Federal: Valley Fever Sufferer Is Unsuccessful in Establishing Comp Carrier’s Extreme or Outrageous Conduct

A federal district court in Mississippi dismissed a civil action filed by a Mississippi resident who contracted “Valley Fever” at a job site in California and who claimed that one of the team leaders of his employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier engaged in outrageous...

King v. CompPartners, Inc., et al.: Do Utilization Review Physicians Owe a Duty of Care to Applicants and What Is the Nature and Scope of the Duty of Care

By Raymond F. Correio, Esq. A recent decision from the Fourth District Court of Appeal, King v. CompPartners, Inc., et al. 243 Cal.App.4th 685, 80 Cal. Comp. Cases 10 , certified for publication, raises a number of provocative issues which will no doubt impact on the ongoing contentious battle between...

California Workers’ Compensation Case Roundup (2/11/2016)

CALIFORNIA COMPENSATION CASES Vol. 81 No. 1 January 2016 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 2016 LexisNexis. All rights...

Indiana: Injured Employee May Not Sue Employer’s Corporate Parent

Where an employee working for a subsidiary of AT&T, Inc. tripped and fell over the snow-covered legs of a construction sign placed in a walkway adjacent to an ongoing construction project at the AT&T building in downtown Indianapolis, she could not maintain a tort action against another subsidiary...

Wyoming: Father May Maintain Tort Action Against Employer for Mental Injury Associated With Son’s Death

The Supreme Court of Wyoming found that a negligent infliction of emotional distress claim filed by an employee against the employer and one of the employer’s superintendents following the death of his son, who also worked for the employer at the same work site, was not derivative of the associated...

Georgia: Parent’s Wrongful Death Action for Negligent Hiring of Convicted Felon May Proceed

Where an employee was shot and killed by a co-employee on the special employer’s premises for no apparent reason—the two hardly knew each other and had no difficulties with each at work—the death did not arise out of and in the course of the employment. Accordingly, the exclusive remedy...

Federal: Employee’s Civil Action for Damages Associated With Radioactive Dust May Proceed

Allegations that an employer knew of the risks and dangers of encountering failed radioactive fuel plates when it ordered an employee to repackage and/or continue the repackaging process, that it failed to warn the employee of the dangers, failed to follow federal safety regulations, and intentionally...

Illinois: Acceptance of Comp Benefits Is Election Barring Intentional Tort Case Against Employer

Where a paramedic trainee, who sustained injuries while participating in a training program, filed suit against his employer and others alleging an intentional tort, but later sought and received workers’ compensation benefits for the injury, his acceptance of benefits operated as an election and...

Opt-Out Lessons From Lone Star State

Shining the Real Light on So-Called Texas Opt Outs By Thomas A. Robinson, co-author Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law As Lex Larson and I point out in the opening article in Workers’ Compensation Emerging Issues Analysis , 2015 Edition, 2016 will shape up to be an important one...

Texas: Police Sergeant’s Widow May Not Recover Wrongful Death Benefits Against Police Department

A widow’s civil action to recover damages from the Houston Police Department related to an incident in which her husband, a police sergeant, was killed in the line of duty by a man who was present in this country illegally, and who was subsequently convicted of the police sergeant’s murder...

Alabama: Removal of Safety Equipment Does Not Expose Employer to Tort Liability

Allegations that an employer removed “explosion doors” from a furnace and that a furnace explosion subsequently injured a furnace operator were insufficient to state a cause of action against the employer; the claim was barred by the exclusive remedy provisions of the Alabama Workers’...

IAIABC Taking Part in Shaping the Future of Workers’ Compensation

By Jennifer C. Jordan, Esq., General Counsel, MEDVAL, LLC On April 20, 2016, the IAIABC kicked off the National Conversation on the Future of Workers’ Compensation at its Forum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In a three hour session, questions were presented to about 100 attendees to debate in round...

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 Employer 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...