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Investors eligible for exclusive remedies: Arkansas court



Principles and shareholders of a company convicted by the widow of employees killed in the job are entitled to exclusive rights determination of employee compensation in Arkansas. A state appeal court was held on Wednesday.

Myers v. Yamato Kogyo Co. Ltd. ., The Arkansas Appeal Court, Division 1 in Little Rock, confirmed in a decision 5-1 an Arkansas Workers Compensation Commission, claiming that passive investors / shareholders are considered employers for the Arkansas workers' purposes of the Compensation Act.

In 2014, a Newport shooter employee, Arkansas-based steel maker Arkansas Steel Associates LLC, was killed at work when a lot of molten metal spilled and covered his body. The employer did not dispute that his death was work-related, and the insurer paid out death benefits to his widow.

The meadow left an erroneous death procedure against Arkansas Steel in the White County Circuit Court, but the company, which no longer exists, was dismissed from the action. A subsidiary of Yamato Kogyo Co. Ltd., together with several other companies, was the main shareholder of Arkansas Steel at the time of the accident and was named in place. The jurisdiction of the Court was transferred to the Arkansas Workers Compensation Commission, which claimed that the parent company of the steel company, including Yamato Kogyo, was entitled to the exclusive right of the Compensation Act. The widow appealed the decision.

The appeal court in Arkansas confirmed the Commission's decision. The Court found that the Commission found that the other business entities named in wrongful deaths were employers for the purpose of the exclusive remedy clause since they were the principal or shareholder of Arkansas Steel. Although the widow argued that the entities were third parties that could be brought to work against the security of the workplace, the Appellate Court agreed with the Commission that the State word in Arkansas State Charter supports the Commission's conclusion that an "employer" includes its principals and shareholders. Since the widow had received benefits according to a workmate, she was "not allowed to sue the parent companies in damages for alleged workplace shortages," the appeal court said.

The Court also dismissed its arguments that the Arkansas statutes are unconstitutional, which is applied by the Commission because it "infringes immunity against a defendant who does not have a relationship with the victim." The Court of Appeal, however, noted that the Court has taken a "narrow picture" of attempting to seek harm beyond the exclusive legal action of the law and upheld the Arkansas Constitution.

In his opposition, Judge Phillip Whiteaker said he did not agree on the majority decision and that he did not believe that investors or shareholders were entitled to exclusive cure clause.

"I conclude that with the ordinary language of the state," principals "and" shareholders "enjoy the exclusive legal remedies for workers' compensation rules only when they" act as an employer "and not when they act as passive investors / shareholders," he wrote. in his trade-off.

Lawyers for the widow and investors did not immediately respond to the request for comment.


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