A federal court has ruled that a former Alabama convenience store employee who was shot while walking to his vehicle after his shift ended can recover damages from his employer’s insurer.
In a Monday ruling, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama ruled that State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. must compensate owners of Pit Stop Grocery in Birmingham after employee Amanali Babwari was shot multiple times in the parking lot on October 10, 2016.
Mr. Babwari obtained a consent judgment against his former employer in state court after claiming the owners’ failure to implement adequate safety measures led to his attack. In his lawsuit, Mr. Babwari that the employers were negligent in failing to hire a second employee for the night shift and that a failure to fix a streetlight in the parking lot also contributed to the attack.
Mr. Babwari later went to federal court, seeking to compel State Farm to satisfy the $877,659.66 state court judgment against the employer. The insurer had argued that the gunshot wounds in the parking lot were not covered by the business̵7;s liability policy.
The federal court ruled that State Farm failed to show any exclusions that applied in the policy, and it ordered the insurer to indemnify the store owners for the underlying judgment awarded to Mr. Babwari.
The tort action was allowed because under the Alabama Workers’ Compensation Law, incidents that occur while an employee is traveling to or from work do not constitute an injury arising out of and in the course of employment.