“Intentional Tort Exception” to Exclusive Remedy Provision of Workers Compensation Act Did Not Apply to Employee’s Claim of Injury by Allegedly Defective Machinery

Amicus Curious

Yesterday, the Michigan Supreme Court issued an order summarily reversing the published decision of the Court of Appeals in Thomai.v.MIBA Hydramechanica Corp., et al, 303 Mich. App. 196 (2013), a case in which the Court of Appeals allowed a circuit court suit to proceed against a manufacturer on the basis that the employee had sufficient basis to proceed under the intentional tort exception to the exclusive remedy provisions of the Michigan Workers’ Disability Compensation Act (WDCA), MCL 418.101 et seq.

The plaintiff was injured while operating a machine at work.  The machine leaked oil onto the floor and workers were constantly required to wipe up the oil with rags to keep the floor and work area dry.  While cleaning up the oil, the plaintiff’s arm became trapped in the machine.  He filed suit in circuit court, which dismissed the action, citing MCL 418.131(1) (the “intentional tort” exception to the exclusive…

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