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2010AP1426 Martine v. Williams

Torts
Workers compensation; exclusive remedy

Where an employee has already asserted a claim that his injuries are covered by the Worker’s Compensation Act, and he had accepted a benefit under the Act, albeit by compromise, his exclusive remedy is under the Act.

“The Martines argue that, while the employer’s liability may be limited to the amount agreed to, he has sued Williams, who is not a party to that agreement. See, e.g., Udelhofen v. John Hancock Mut. Life Ins. Co., 128 Wis. 2d 216, 219, 381 N.W.2d 579 (Ct. App. 1985). In Udelhofen, we held that a health insurer of the employee was not precluded by a compromise agreement from litigating whether the employee’s injuries came within a policy exclusion regarding worker’s compensation claims. Id. at 220. However, unlike the unrelated health insurance provider in Udelhofen, Williams is a co-employee of the same employer. Wisconsin Stat. § 102.03(2) expressly provides that the “right to the recovery of compensation under this chapter shall be the exclusive remedy against the employer, any other employee of the same employer and the worker’s compensation insurance carrier.” (Emphasis added.) If the exclusive remedy provision of § 102.03(2) applies to United Cooperative, it applies to Williams in equal measure by its express language. Martine can no more sue Williams than he can sue United Cooperative.”

Affirmed.

Recommended for publication in the official reports.

2010AP1426 Martine v. Williams

Dist. IV, Rock County, Welker, J., Sherman, J.

Attorneys: For Appellant: Carney, James A., Janesville; For Respondent: Bayer, Nathan, Milwaukee

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