BMHJ Blog: Legal Information, Resources, & News: Workers’ Compensation

Court Affirms That Once Worker’s Compensation Act Applies, It Is an Absolute Bar to Subsequent Tort Suit

Steven W. Bancroft, Esquire
July 16th, 2012
By: Steven W. Bancroft, Esquire

The Virginia Supreme Court recently ruled on a case defended by the firm that once the Virginia Worker’s Compensation Act is found to apply to a work related accident, it bars any subsequent tort action. Pursuant to §65.2-307 of the Virginia Code, the Supreme Court of Virginia affirmed the trial court’s decision dismissing a wrongful death action against the general contractor even when death benefits were not awarded under the Worker’s Compensation Act.

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Innocent Victim of Horseplay Rule Affirmed by Virginia Supreme Court

Dawn E. Boyce, Esquire
February 14th, 2011
By: Dawn E. Boyce, Esquire

In Simms v. Ruby Tuesday, Inc., 2011 Va. LEXIS 17 (2011), the Virginia Supreme Court addressed whether an innocent victim of horseplay was eligible for compensation under the Workers’ Compensation Act. Although it had long been held that injuries suffered by innocent bystanders as a result of horseplay at the workplace were compensable, this precedent was called into doubt by the court in Hilton v. Martin, 275 Va. 176, 654 S.E.2d 572 (2008). The issue in Simms was whether the actual risk test analysis articulated in Hilton had materially changed the juris prudence related to innocent victims of horseplay at work. In Hilton, the Commission found that injuries did not arise out of the employment where a co-worker turned on the power of a manual cardiac defibrillator, adjusted its energy to 150 joules, and touched the defibrillator paddles to an innocent victim. The denial of compensation sent a ripple through the workers’ compensation community and led the Commission and Court of Appeals to start denying horseplay claims.

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This blog and the information provided has been prepared by Bancroft, McGavin, Horvath & Judkins, P.C. (“BMHJ”) for information purposes only and is not intended nor to be construed as legal advice. This blog may contain the opinions of the members and associates of this firm on various legal issues and is not legal advice. Read More