2014 Oklahoma Statutes
Title 85A. Administrative Workers' Compensation System
§85A-5. Exclusive liability - Immunity.
A. The rights and remedies granted to an employee subject to the provisions of the Administrative Workers' Compensation Act shall be exclusive of all other rights and remedies of the employee, his legal representative, dependents, next of kin, or anyone else claiming rights to recovery on behalf of the employee against the employer, or any principal, officer, director, employee, stockholder, partner, or prime contractor of the employer on account of injury, illness, or death. Negligent acts of a co-employee may not be imputed to the employer. No role, capacity, or persona of any employer, principal, officer, director, employee, or stockholder other than that existing in the role of employer of the employee shall be relevant for consideration for purposes of this act, and the remedies and rights provided by this act shall be exclusive regardless of the multiple roles, capacities, or personas the employer may be deemed to have. For the purpose of extending the immunity of this section, any operator or owner of an oil or gas well or other operation for exploring for, drilling for, or producing oil or gas shall be deemed to be an intermediate or principal employer for services performed at a drill site or location with respect to injured or deceased workers whose immediate employer was hired by such operator or owner at the time of the injury or death.
B. Exclusive remedy shall not apply if:
1. An employer fails to secure the payment of compensation due to the employee as required by this act. An injured employee, or his or her legal representative in case death results from the injury, may, at his or her option, elect to claim compensation under this act or to maintain a legal action in court for damages on account of the injury or death; or
2. The injury was caused by an intentional tort committed by the employer. An intentional tort shall exist only when the employee is injured as a result of willful, deliberate, specific intent of the employer to cause such injury. Allegations or proof that the employer had knowledge that the injury was substantially certain to result from the employer's conduct shall not constitute an intentional tort. The employee shall plead facts that show it is at least as likely as it is not that the employer acted with the purpose of injuring the employee. The issue of whether an act is an intentional tort shall be a question of law.
C. The immunity from civil liability described in subsection A of this section shall apply regardless of whether the injured employee is denied compensation or deemed ineligible to receive compensation under this act.
D. If an employer has failed to secure the payment of compensation for his or her injured employee as provided for in this act, an injured employee, or his or her legal representative if death results from the injury, may maintain an action in the district court for damages on account of such injury.
E. The immunity created by the provisions of this section shall not extend to action against another employer, or its employees, on the same job as the injured or deceased worker where such other employer does not stand in the position of an intermediate or principal employer to the immediate employer of the injured or deceased worker.
F. The immunity created by the provisions of this section shall not extend to action against another employer, or its employees, on the same job as the injured or deceased worker even though such other employer may be considered as standing in the position of a special master of a loaned servant where such special master neither is the immediate employer of the injured or deceased worker nor stands in the position of an intermediate or principal employer to the immediate employer of the injured or deceased worker.
G. This section shall not be construed to abrogate the loaned servant doctrine in any respect other than that described in subsection F of this section. Nothing in this act shall be construed to relieve the employer from any other penalty provided for in this act for failure to secure the payment of compensation under this act.
H. For the purpose of extending the immunity of this section, any architect, professional engineer, or land surveyor shall be deemed an intermediate or principal employer for services performed at or on the site of a construction project, but this immunity shall not extend to the negligent preparation of design plans and specifications.
I. If the employer has failed to secure the payment of compensation as provided in this act or in the case of an intentional tort, the injured employee or his or her legal representative may maintain an action either before the Commission or in the district court, but not both.
Added by Laws 2013, c. 208, § 5, eff. Feb. 1, 2014.
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