And this is a blog dedicated to Mississippi Workers' Compensation
I would like to start off by saying Happy New Year, but I think it is too late into the year for that at this point. The year is already off and running, bringing with it the cold and rainy weather which traditionally follows January in Mississippi. While I thoroughly enjoyed the holiday season, I am always happy to get the tree taken down (we are now a fake tree family) and get the kids back in a routine.
Like many of you, I rarely take the time to sit back and appreciate things like I should. It is not until tragedy strikes that I take the time to count my blessings. Growing up in the 90s, my sports fandom from a basketball standpoint included the middle to end of the Jordan era, but I saw Kobe Bryant’s entire career. His tragic passing on Sunday was one that hit closer to home than others have in the past for me. I enjoyed watching him play, and while he certainly had his flaws personally, like many of us, his life post-basketball life is where he seemed happiest. After retirement, Kobe had essentially left the game of basketball until his young daughter, Gigi Bryant, became an avid player and fan. Kobe took her interest up as his own and became actively involved as a parent and coach.
Kobe had taken helicopter flights routinely later in his career so that he could quickly get to and from arenas so he could spend more time with his girls. Kobe was the quintessential alpha male, but at the time of his death, he was most proud of being a “girl dad”. He had 4 girls, though he left behind 3 girls and a wife, as Gigi passed in the helicopter accident as well. No matter what your opinion was of Kobe Bryant the athlete or the person, I hope his passing made you stop and appreciate what you do have, and for those of us fortunate enough to be a girl dad, or a dad in general, to appreciate what that responsibility involves and to enjoy it while you can. Take one minute and 33 seconds to watch the video from Elle Duncan if have not already done so:
I love my two children equally, but this past week has made me appreciate being a girl dad to the beautiful little angel who stole my heart 3 years ago.
Only an attorney can make the transition from a heart-warming tribute, to a way for employers and carriers to limit their exposure in a workers’ compensation claim, right?
The topic du jour for me as of late has been that of the defense of fraudulent inducement. Unfortunately for those of us who handle claims in Mississippi, and that is the vast majority of my audience, it is not a defense that is recognizable in Mississippi...yet.
In general, an employer/carrier is only liable to pay workers’ compensation benefits to an employee. However, if the claimant obtained employment through fraud, the contract should be void at inception; therefore, there would be no employment.
There are three elements to consider in a defense of fraudulent inducement:
1. The employee must have knowingly and willingly made a false representation as to his/her physical condition;
2. The employer must have relied upon the false representation, and this reliance must have been a substantial factor in the hiring; and
3. There must have been a causal connection between the false representation and the injury.
In Cawthon v. Alcan Aluminum Corp., The Mississippi Supreme Court stated this defense has not been adopted, but only because the right set of facts have not been presented. 599 So. 2d 925, 925 (Miss. 1991). In the event that the right case is presented in line with the elements as noted above, it would force the Mississippi Supreme Court to make a determination on whether or not Mississippi should recognize this defense. I have argued this defense on several occasions over the years, but never to the point where the case was ultimately tried and appealed to the Mississippi Supreme Court. In the event you have a case which you believe fits within the elements as described above, I would certainly love to be the one to help create good law in Mississippi, which would benefit all employers and carriers moving forward on future cases.
P.S. Many of you have already signed up, but if you have not, I would recommend that you register for the upcoming Markow Walker Seminar which is currently scheduled for February 12, 2020 at the Embassy Suites in Ridgeland, MS. You can register online at the link below. Not only will you receive 6 CEU hours for your attendance, you will also receive our seminar book/cheat sheet, free happy hour, and a chance to win prizes in a game show I will be hosting at the end!
1/31/2020 08:51:21 am
Happy New Year and great read!
10/13/2022 04:46:28 pm
Realize loss girl benefit wide clear. Finish difficult environmental quickly standard.
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Attorney with Markow Walker in Ridgeland, MS