Reynolds Metal Co. v. Circuit Court (Majority, with Dissenting)Annotate this Case
Employee was employer at Employer's aluminum-processing plant from 1957 to 1989. In 2009, Employee filed an occupational-disease claim for benefits with the Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission, alleging that he suffered from cancer caused by his exposure to asbestos while working for Employer. A law judge found Employee's complaint was time barred. Rather than appeal the decision to the full Commission, Employee filed suit against Employer in circuit court. Employer filed a motion to dismiss based on the exclusive remedy afforded by the Workers' Compensation Act. The circuit court denied the motion, concluding that, where a plaintiff's disease manifests after the statute of limitations has expired, a circuit court has authority to exercise jurisdiction over the plaintiff's claims. The Supreme Court granted Employer's requested writ of prohibition, holding that the Commission had exclusive jurisdiction to decide the issue in the first instance, and because Employee's claim was not submitted to the Commission, the circuit court lacked jurisdiction to decide the case.