Thursday, April 03, 2014

Summary 2014 WY 42

Summary of Decision March 31, 2014

Justice Hill delivered the opinion for the Court. Affirmed.


Docket Number: S-13-0144


Appeal from the District Court of Teton County the Honorable Timothy C. Day, Judge

Representing Appellant: Katherine L. Mead of Mead & Mead, Jackson, WY

Representing Appellee: Peter K. Michael, Wyoming Attorney General; John D. Rossetti, Deputy Attorney General; Michael J. Finn; Senior Assistant Attorney General; and John A. Brodie, Assistant Attorney General

Date of Decision: March 31, 2014

Facts: On January 19, 2006, Robert Carson and his passenger Hugh Sharp were involved in a serious car accident in Snake River Canyon. Carson sustained multiple injuries, including a severe head injury, and Sharp was killed in the accident. In 2007 the Wyoming Workers’ Safety and Compensation Division (Division) denied Carson’s claims for worker’s compensation benefits because he failed to show that the injuries he sustained in the automobile accident arose out of and in the course of his employment with Metrocities Mortgage, LLC (Metrocities). After a contested case hearing, the Division’s denial of benefits was upheld. Carson did not appeal this determination.

Eight months after the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) denied Carson’s claim for worker’s compensation benefits, a jury sitting in a federal district court case brought by Hugh Sharp’s widow against Carson for wrongful death found that Carson was acting within the course and scope of his employment at the time of the accident. After the federal district court jury verdict, Carson sought to reopen this case contending there was newly discovered evidence to support that he was acting within the course of his employment at the time of the accident. After rulings by the district court and this Court, the OAH eventually affirmed its earlier decision from 2008 that Carson was not acting within the course of his employment.

Issue: Carson presents one issue for our review: As a matter of law, did the OAH commit error when it failed to apply collateral estoppel to the issue of whether Robert Carson was in the course and scope of employment at the time of his injury?

Holdings/Conclusion: We affirm the district court’s order affirming the administrative action taken by the OAH.

Summaries are prepared by Law Librarians and are not official statements of the Wyoming Supreme Court.

[SPECIAL NOTE: This opinion uses the "Universal Citation." It was given an "official" citation when it was issued. You should use this citation whenever you cite the opinion, with a P.3d parallel citation. You will also note when you look at the opinion that all of the paragraphs are numbered. When you need to provide a pinpoint citation to a quote the universal portion of the citation will use that paragraph number. The pinpoint citation in the P.3d portion will need to have the reporter page number. If you need assistance in putting together a citation from this, or any future opinion using the Universal Citation form, please contact the Wyoming State Law Library and we will provide any needed assistance]

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