Brief Fact Summary. Plaintiffs seek to be compensated by Defendant as a result of working in hazardous conditions.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. An employer cannot immunize himself from liability of intentional torts.
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Issue. Whether the Workers Compensation Act was intended to cover an intentional tort committed by employers against their employees?
Held. (Justice Brown). No. “[w]here an employee asserts in his complaint a claim for damages based on an intentional tort, . . . the substance of the claim is not an injury . . . received or contracted by any employee in the course of or arising out of his employment within the meaning of Ohio law.” Intentional and unintentional torts occurring on the job can be categorized into two completely different risks. An unintentional tort is a natural risk of employment. The Workers’ Compensation Act does not immunize employers from civil liability for their intentional torts and an employee may resort to a civil suit for damages.
Dissent. The dissenting opinions are as follows:
* (J. Homes). “[t]ort actions should be permitted against employers only in cases of actual intent to injure the employees.”
* (J. Krupansky). “[t]here should be no judicial creation of an intentional misconduct exception to the employers’ tort immunity because there is no express exception in the Ohio Workers’ Compensation Act.”
Discussion. The court states that the Ohio Workers’ Compensation Act can only apply to unintentional torts.