Oklahoma Sends Novel Tort Immunities Question to State Supreme Court
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Oklahoma Sends Novel Tort Immunities Question to State Supreme Court

The application of the dual capacity doctrine arose in an action by an employee who was injured when the truck owned by his employer's parent company fell on him. Rather than deciding the plaintiff’s challenge of the dismissal of the parent company, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals certified the question of whether an employer may become liable to its employee as a third-party tortfeasor, and whether Oklahoma's Administrative Workers' Compensation Act's exclusive-remedy provision, amended in 2014 to make the system less expensive and more efficient, barred an employee from bringing a tort suit against a stockholder of his employer. In comparing the Oklahoma revisions with the Arkansas exclusive remedy provision upon which it is based, the court discovered an ambiguity in the statute and found further unclarity in the meaning for a “capacity” to be “existing in the role of employer of the employee,” or to “be relevant for consideration for purposes of the act.” 

Odom v Penske Truck Leasing Co.