The Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act can provide many benefits to Georgia claimants. Yet it can also act as a roadblock to certain claims, as one recent case illustrates.
In that case, a hospital employee in Missouri was a courier who was responsible for delivering medical supplies. He was supposed to work on a day when there was a severe winter storm. His supervisor asked his superior whether the employee should drive that day, and he was told that he should but that he should drive slowly and carefully. During his shift, the employee’s supervisor called the employee to check on him, and the employee said that his windshield was freezing. The supervisor called his superior again, who said that he should continue to work. Later during his shift, the employee’s vehicle slid off the road, and the employee died as a result. The employee was not delivering any supplies that needed immediate delivery.
The employee’s wife sued the two supervisors for wrongful death, claiming they were negligent in directing the employee to drive his route despite the conditions. The defendants argued the lawsuit was barred by the exclusivity provision in the state’s workers’ compensation act.