Authored by Karin Jones of Stoel Rives LLP and Hunter Ferguson
In Orris v. Lingley (pdf), the Court of Appeals held that an injured employee who accepted industrial insurance benefits without question is deemed to have acted within the course of employment and thus may pursue only those remedies by provided the Industrial Insurance Act (“Act”). Although the Act forecloses an employee who accepts benefits from bringing a tort claim premised on the allegation that he or she was actually acting outside the course of employment at the time of the injury, the Act permits such employee to institute a tort suit against a co-employee on the basis that the co-employee was acting outside the scope of his or her employment. Because a toxicology report (which was not objected to in the trial court) indicated that a co-employee was intoxicated, a material issue of fact existed as to whether such co-employee had acted outside the course of employment, thus precluding summary judgment.
Continue Reading Wash. Ct. of Appeals Clarifies Employees’ Rights of Recovery under the Industrial Insurance Act