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Negligence : Co-Worker Liability – Non-Delegable Duty – Breach Of Workplace Safety

Stephanie Maniscalco//March 7, 2018

Negligence : Co-Worker Liability – Non-Delegable Duty – Breach Of Workplace Safety

Stephanie Maniscalco//March 7, 2018

re two workers, who injured on the job between 2005 and 2012 in separate accidents involving a forklift and electricity and brought personal injury actions against co-workers, challenged the grant of summary judgment against them, the judgments are affirmed because the plaintiffs failed to allege a breach of workplace safety so unforeseeable as to take the cases outside of the employers’ non-delegable duty to provide a reasonably safe workplace.


Flawed analysis

Opinion concurring in result by Draper, J.; “While recognizing this Court’s opinions regarding the application of the nondelegable duty doctrine in the co-employee liability cases handed down today are limited to actions against co-employees for injuries between 2005 and 2012, I write 2 separately to preserve the right to find co-employee liability in limited circumstances. I believe the principal opinion announces a new standard, expanding the employer’s nondelegable duties to any foreseeable act and resulting in a flawed analysis. I concur in the result only.

“The principal opinion focuses on whether the action or injury was foreseeable. I maintain the proper analysis begins with ascertaining where the employer’s nondelegable duty ends and a co-employee’s independent duty begins.”

Judgment is affirmed.

Conner v. Ogletree; Evans v. Wilson (MLW No. 71448/Case No. SC95995/SC95997 – 26 pages) (Supreme Court of Missouri, Wilson, J.; Fischer, C.J., Russell, Powell, Breckenridge and Stith, JJ., concur. Draper, J., concurs in result in separate opinion filed) Appealed from circuit courts, Wright County, Carter, J., and Greene County, Coronnier, J. (Stephen E. Walsh, Poplar Bluff, and Shaun D. Hanschen, Sikeston, for appellant Conner) (Terry M. Evans and Miles B. Figg, Smithville, for respondents) (C.J. Moeller and Eric M. Belk, Springfield, for appellant Evans) (T. Michael Ward, Jacqueline M. Kinder, Russell F. Watters, Brendon T. Sanders and Joseph M. Morris, St. Louis, for respondents).

Read the full text of this opinion. (PDF)

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