« Court of Appeals Upholds ATF Deposits | Main | 2011 TICL Award Winners »

Workers' Compensation Not A Defense to Uninsured motorist Claim

An employee of a self-insured employer was injured in a motor vehicle accident while driving his employer's car. The accident was caused by an uninsured driver. As such the worker sought to claim against the employer's uninsured provisions of it being self insured for liability on its cars as well as for workers' compensation purposes.

When arbitration was sought for the uninsured benefits the employer moved to stay the arbitration which was granted. On appeal the Appellate Division - First Department lifted the stay and leave to appeal to the Court of Appeals was granted by the First Department. The right to claim uninsured motorist benefits from an entity that is self-insured for auto liability was resolved by the Court of Appeals in Allstate Ins. Co. v. Shaw, 52 N.Y. 2d 818 (1980). However, Shaw did not address the right to seek such a recovery where the person seeking the recovery was receiving workers' compensation benefits from his employer.

The Court of Appeals rejected the exclusivity protections of Workers' Compensation Law §11 to bar this claim. The Court considered the claim for the uninsured motorist benefits to be a contractual action and not a claim for benefits "on account of such injury or death or liability arising therefrom [sic]..." (Workers' Compensation Law §11) Therefore, the arbitration for the uninsured motorist benefits could proceed by the employee against his self-insured employer. Elrac, Inc. v. Exum, 2011 NY Slip Op 08961(December 13, 2011)

Based upon Exum, there is no reason why this doctrine would not apply in the case of a claim for underinsured motorist benefits as well. The exact same logic should apply to such a claim against an employer's vehicle.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

About

This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 14, 2011 6:26 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Court of Appeals Upholds ATF Deposits.

The next post in this blog is 2011 TICL Award Winners.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.