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Cortez v. Nacco Materials Handling Group

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 02-29-2012
Case #: A144045
Nakamoto, J. for the Court; Schuman, P. J; and Wollheim, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/sites/Publications/A144045.pdf

Employment Law: The exclusive remedy provision of the workers' compensation law does not apply to "members" of an LLC, primarily because an LLC is a legal entity distinct from its members.

Nacco appeals a limited summary judgment. Nacco, an LCC member, employed Cortez who was injured by the company's forklift. Cortez filed a claim and obtained workers' compensation benefits before filing an action for damages against Nacco. A trial court granted Nacco's motion for summary judgment on the ground that it was exempt from liability under the exclusive remedy provision of the workers' compensation law (ELL). Cortez appealed, arguing that the exclusive remedy provision did not shield Nacco because Nacco was not his employer and instead merely a "member" of the limited liability company that employed him. The Court of Appeals concluded that the exclusive remedy provision does not apply to "members" of an LLC. Nonetheless, the trial court properly granted Nacco's motion for summary judgment on Cortez's ELL claim but improperly granted it on his negligence claim. Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.