Recently, a state appellate court issued an opinion in a wrongful death case brought by the estate of a woman who was hit by a train after being told to leave her workplace while intoxicated. The court had to determine if the estate could prevail in a negligence lawsuit based on the fact that the woman’s employer provided her with alcohol, knowing she was an alcoholic, and then ejected her from the premises. Ultimately, the court concluded that the duty an employer owes to an employee does not extend beyond the scope of employment and rejected the estate’s lawsuit.
The case presents an interesting issue for employees injured in Washington, D.C. workplace accidents that were caused by a third party.
The Facts of the Case
The deceased employee worked for a company that maintained a bar on the premises. Employees were encouraged to stay after work and have a drink, in hopes that the employees would stay at work longer and produce more output.