Articles Posted in Employment Law

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Grievant John Aleong appealed a Vermont Labor Relations Board holding that his grievance of the termination of one portion of his teaching position at the University of Vermont fell outside the Board’s jurisdiction. Finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed. View "In re Aleong" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff Sandra J. Murphy (as personal representative and administrator of the Estate of Christopher Murphy) appealed a superior court decision that vacated a jury verdict in her favor and entered judgment as a matter of law for defendant Sentry Insurance. The decedent died after a forklift he was operating for his employer, Pete's RV Center, tipped over. At the time of the accident, the decedent was operating a forklift equipped with an unapproved towing attachment, and using the forklift to tow a fifth-wheel camper. In its capacity as Pete's general liability insurer, Sentry had performed a safety survey at Pete's in April 2002. Plaintiff sued Sentry, alleging in relevant part that Sentry was negligent in performing the safety survey because it failed to identify and warn of the dangers of using forklifts with unapproved towing attachments. Plaintiff contended on appeal that there was sufficient evidence to establish Sentry's liability for her husband's workplace death under the Restatement (Second) of Torts section 324A based on a negligent inspection theory. Plaintiff also argued that the court erred in awarding costs to Sentry. Upon review, the Supreme Court concluded that, assuming the risk of physical harm associated with the use of unapproved forklift attachments was present at the time of Sentry's inspection, nothing Sentry did increased the risk of physical harm to decedent from such attachments. The Court therefore agreed with the trial court that Sentry's liability could not be premised on section 324A(a). The Court found plaintiff's arguments with regard to whether the jury reasonably could conclude that through its inspection, Sentry assumed a portion of Pete's duty to provide a safe workplace to its employees, as unpersuasive. The Court affirmed the superior court's decision.View "Murphy v. Sentry Insurance" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff Nicholas Bonnano appealed the superior court’s grant of summary judgment against him and in favor of his employer, Verizon, and Verizon’s third-party claims administrator, Sedgwick Claims Management. Plaintiff’s claims stemmed from an alleged breach of a settlement agreement with employer regarding his workers’ compensation claim. On appeal, plaintiff argued that the trial court erred because there was a dispute of material fact as to the voluntariness of employer’s temporary total disability (TTD) payments made to plaintiff after the TTD termination date indicated in the settlement. Finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed the superior court in all respects. View "Bonanno v. Verizon Business Network Systems" on Justia Law