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FATAL SHOOTING BY CO-WORKER ON EMPLOYER’S PREMISES NOT WORK RELATED

FATAL SHOOTING BY CO-WORKER ON EMPLOYER’S PREMISES NOT WORK RELATED

 

11/10/16 

The following is a summary of an interesting decision issued at the trial level in July.

A member of the Workers’ Compensation Board of Magistrates, Magistrate Beatrice Logan, issued an opinion in the matter of Williams v Park Family Healthcare PC on 7/11/16.  In that case, the Ms. Williams was fatally shot on the employer’s premises by a maintenance worker.  The maintenance worker worked in the building and had a previous romantic relationship with Ms. Williams.  Magistrate Logan held that the fatal shooting did not arise out of the course of Ms. Williams’ employment. 

In finding that the fatal shooting did not arise out of the employment, Magistrate Logan relied upon the following factual findings: 

  • The      assailant’s use of keys to obtain entrance to Ms. Williams’s workplace was      not the result of employment-related special knowledge;
  • Ms.      Williams and the assailant did not have a work relationship; and
  • The      employer did not engender, exacerbate or facilitate a previous romantic      relationship between Ms. Williams and the assailant. 

Therefore, Magistrate Logan found that the fatal shooting of Ms. Williams on the employer’s premises was not compensable under the Workers’ Disability Compensation Act. 

We have subsequently learned that plaintiff sought a finding that the fatal shooting did NOT arise in the course of employment so that the 3 surviving children would not be precluded by the exclusive remedy provision from pursuing a death case against the employer based on negligent failure to provide a safe work place.  The DEFENDANT has appealed the decision.

The full text of the decision can be found at the following link: http://w2.lara.state.mi.us/ADMS/File/ViewDmsDocument/12986

If you have any questions or would like to discuss the ramifications of this case, please contact us at your convenience.

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