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The insurer not negligent for suicide attempts



A worker who gore of a bull at work and later attempted suicide when the compensation was interrupted for his antidepressant can not pursue a claim for negligence against his employer's employee compensation.

I Graef v Continental Indemnity Co . The Supreme Court of Wisconsin ruled on Thursday that workers' compensation was the worker's exclusive remedy for recovering from his self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Francis Graef filed a complaint against Continental Indemnity Co. and claimed that his self-inflicted shots were a result of the insurer's negligence because it refused to pay for a refill of his antidepressant medication which he was prescribed after a workplace injury.

In November 201

2, Graef was working in the livestock farm of his employer, Equity Livestock, when he got a bull. He suffered physical injuries and depression as a result of the incident and was prescribed the antidepressant drug duloxetine to treat his depression.

Continental paid for the first 30 days of the prescription, but denied Mr. Graef's request for payment for a refill next month. About six weeks later, Graef attempted suicide and was shot.

He claimed that Continental's refusal to pay for his antidepressant was negligent and that he attempted suicide as a result of this negligence. Continental filed for a summary judgment on the grounds that the Workers' Compensation Act was the exclusive remedy for his workplace injuries.

A district court held that the exclusive measure did not preclude his claim and an appellate court quashed the decision, arguing that Graef could only recover for his injuries by filing a claim against workers. Mr Graef appealed.

The Supreme Court of Wisconsin upheld the appeal. The court held that Mr Graef's self-inflicted shots "grew out and were temporary with his original work injury" and that therefore compensation to workers was his exclusive remedy.

Although he argued that Continental "tried to have it both ways" because the insurer refused to allow Graef's workers to apply for the shot – a question that led to the district court's decision – the court found that the district court ' measures ”was incorrect. The court reversed the decision with instructions to notify Continental of a summary judgment on Mr Graef's claim.

Justice Rebecca Grassl Bradley abstained from the majority and held that the court was too hasty in its decision to dismiss his claim without determining whether he was entitled to claim outside the Wisconsin Labor Code.

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