23 Mar Virginia: Wrongful Death – a Lawyer’s Electrocution
On February 27, 2014, the Virginia Supreme Court issued Rodriguez v. Leesburg Business Park, LLC, No. 122029. It reversed the dismissal of a tort action for wrongful death. Id. at 1, 10.
Rodriguez found out that the construction victim employee’s work was not the “trade, business or occupation” of premises owner at the time of fatal injury. Accordingly, he was not a “statutory co-employee” whose exclusive remedy is under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act. Id.
The victim employee was fatally electrocuted when material being moved contacted overhead powerlines. Id. at 1-2. His widow sued the owner developer for negligently failing to keep its premises reasonable safe for business invitees like the victim. Id. at 2.