Worker's Comp Exlusivity
I have an on the job death case that appears to be the result of the negligence of a fellow employee. Since the decedent was not married and had no children, no claim for the death could be made under the worker's comp act, though the parents and siblings can make a claim under the wrongful death statute. Since there is no claimant under the Comp Act, does that lift the bar on district court claims? Can I file a lawsuit in district court based on the negligence (not intentional acts) of the employer?
Answer: No. See: Hughes Drilling Co. v. Crawford, 1985 OK 16, 697 P.2d 525 :Parents of deceased minor whose death occurred accidentally in course of his employment filed wrongful death action against employer. The District Court, Logan County, overruled the employer's objection that any claim for the minor's death was exclusively under the provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act, but certified the ruling for interlocutory review. Certiorari was granted. The Supreme Court, Hodges, J., held that the fact that the parents were limited a recovery under the Workers' Compensation Act did not abrogate their right of action for wrongful death.
Posted on Sun, February 13, 2011
by Sharon Coleman filed under