New Tennessee Legislation of Interest to Tort Lawyers – Post 14

Well, are all of these posts on new legislation of interest to Tennessee tort lawyers driving you crazy?  Some lawyers forget that the Tennessee General Assembly has passed hundreds of laws that impact tort practice.  The rest of us know that tort law has it roots in common law, but is also greatly impacted by statutes and regulations.  Thus, we continue down the path of identifying new legislation that will impact the right of your clients to recover damages.

This post addresses a change to the worker’s compensation law, not a tort subject but one of interest to many tort lawyers.  T.C.A. Sec 50-6-110(a), which addresses those situations in which worker’s compensation will not be paid to a worker, has been revised.  Here is the new , revised section created by Public Chapter 403:

(a) No compensation shall be allowed for an injury or death due to:
(1) The employee’s willful misconduct;
(2) The employee’s intentional self-inflicted injury;
(3) The employee’s intoxication or illegal drug usage;
(4) The employee’s willful failure or refusal to use a safety device;
(5) The employee’s willful failure to perform a duty required by law;
(6) The employee’s voluntary participation in recreational, social,
athletic, or exercise activities (including, but not limited to, athletic events,
competitions, parties, picnics, exercise programs) whether or not the
employer pays some or all of the costs thereof unless:
     (A) Participation was expressly or impliedly required by the
employer; or
     (B) Participation produced a direct benefit to the employer
beyond improvement in employee health and morale; or
     (C) Participation was during employee’s work hours and
was part of the employee’s work-related duties; or
     (D) The injury occurred due to an unsafe condition during
voluntary participation using facilities designated by, furnished by
or maintained by the employer on or off the employer’s premises
and the employer had actual knowledge of the unsafe condition
and failed to curtail the activity or program or cure the unsafe