Negligence Is Not Enough In Serious and Willful Misconduct

This is a very significant case for workers’ compensation principles.

The applicant sustained industrial injuries after being crushed by a compactor. The applicant sustained these injuries because a fellow employee moved the compactor forward rather than backward. It was alleged the fellow employee was not properly trained or given an operating manual to learn how to use the compactor.

The case was settled by way of compromise and release for $60,000.

However, the settlement did not include settlement of the Serious and Wilful Misconduct (S & W).

The case went to trial and the Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) indicated that although the employer was negligent, this did not rise to the level of an S&W allega┬Čtion. The applicant filed a petition for reconsideration and the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) agreed with the WCJ.

The applicant then filed a writ for review with the appellate court. The appellate court reviewed existing case law and indicated that serious and wilful misconduct is the antithesis of negligence or even gross negligence.

This is a good case to review for case law on the subject.

Case: SANCHEZ V. WCAB (KINLEY CONSTRUCTION)
This is an unpublished Court of Appeal case


Editor:
Harvey Brown
Address:
3501 Jamboree Rd. Suite 602
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Phone:
949-252-1300
Website:
www.sgvblaw.com

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