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Connecticut Attorneys Successfully Appeal Defense

Litchfield Cavo LLP attorneys David A. Corbett and Joe Carlisle successfully defended an appeal by the estate of a man who was killed when struck by a coworker operating a payloader. A Connecticut trial judge granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant employer and coworker finding that the payloader was not a “motor vehicle” for purposes of the motor vehicle exception to the exclusive remedy of the workers’ compensation law. The estate appealed contending that facts as to the location of the accident and vehicle-type features of the payloader precluded summary judgment. On April 21, 2015, the Connecticut Appellate Court, 156 Conn.App. 727, affirmed summary judgment and the Connecticut Supreme Court then denied certification.

With an abundance of case law interpreting the motor vehicle exception under C.G.S. Sec. 31-293a, some with strained construction favoring the injured party, the decision confirms a bright-line test that the proper analysis of the exception accords with the statutory definitions of “motor vehicle.”