ANA R. PADILLA v. TWIN CITY FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY (Tenn. October 6, 2010)
This appeal involves the workers' compensation liability of an employer for the unsolved fatal shooting of an employee on the employer's premises. The employee's surviving spouse filed suit in the Chancery Court for Davidson County seeking death benefits under Tennessee's Workers' Compensation Law.
Following a bench trial, the trial court denied the widow's claim for workers' compensation benefits. The court concluded that the employee's death was the result of a neutral assault and that the "street risk" doctrine was inapplicable because the employer's premises were not open to the public.
On appeal, the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel declined to presume that neutral assaults on an employer's premises were compensable and affirmed the trial court's judgment. We granted the surviving spouse's petition for full court review. Like the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel, we decline to engraft a non-statutory presumption favoring compensability in cases involving neutral assaults on the employer's premises. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel and the trial court.
Opinion available at:
WADE dissenting opinion: