Five Recent Workers’ Comp Cases You Should Know About (7/8/2011) – Supreme Court Says FELA Does Not Use Common Law Concept of Proximate Cause

Truck driver, sailor, and waitress at a highwa...

Truck driver, sailor, and waitress at a highway coffee shop on U.S. Highway 90 in southern Louisiana, 1943 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Five Recent Workers’ Compensation Cases You Should Know About (7/8/2011):

US: Supreme Court Says Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA), 45 U.S.C.S. § 51, et seq., Does Not Use Common Law Concept of “Proximate Cause.” See CSX Transp., Inc. v. McBride, 131 S. Ct. 2630; 180 L. Ed. 2d 637; 32 I.E.R. Cas. (BNA) 609, 2011 U.S. LEXIS 4795.

MA: Insurer Not Immune From Malicious Prosecution Claim Filed by Injured Employee. See Maxwell v. AIG Domestic Claims, Inc., 460 Mass. 91, 2011 Mass. LEXIS 453.

DE: Truck Driver‘s Injuries Sustained While Sleeping In Berth of Truck Were Within Course of Employment; However, Tort Action Against Employer Barred where submits to “voluntary” retirement due to same work-related injury. See Estate of Jackson v. Genesis Health Ventures, 2011 Del. LEXIS 342.

LA: Injured State-Employed Seaman May Sue State of Louisiana Under Jones Act, 46 U.S.C. § 30104 et seq., his claim for damages is not governed exclusively by the provisions of the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act. See Fulmer v. Dep’t of Wildlife & Fisheries, 2011 La. LEXIS 1591 (citing Alden v. Maine, 527 U.S. 706, 119 S.Ct. 2240, 144 L.Ed.2d 636 (1999) where a state’s sovereign immunity operates to prevent individuals from suing the state for federal remedies in state court absent that state’s consent, the state supreme court indicated the self-executing waiver of immunity found in Article Xii, Section 10(A) of the Louisiana Constitution was sufficiently broad so as to allow the seaman’s action. That he was a state employee made no difference.)

US: Firing Not Retaliatory Where Termination Was Based on Injured Worker’s Statement That He Might Not Pass Drug Test. See Smeigh v. Johns Manville, Inc., 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 13247 (worker failed to present sufficient evidence upon which a reasonable jury could conclude that he was fired in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim and that the employer’s proffered reason for terminating him was a lie to cover up retaliation; and  where it appeared he was fired following his post-accident statement that he might not pass a drug test and he subsequently refused to sign an agreement requiring him to undergo counseling and random drug testing to retain his job.)

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About vinhsu

Center City Philadelphia General Practice Law Firm with emphasis on Criminal Defense, Family Law, Immigration, Real Property, and Wills/Trusts/ Estate Planning. Licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
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