Oral arg, – Miss.S.Ct. – May 12, 2015

The case is an interloc. entitled The Service Companies, Inc. d/b/a FSS v. The Estate of Maurice Vaughn. Maurice Vaughn was a housekeeper who worked for FSS which  had a contract to clean hotel rooms on certain floors at at the Gold Strike Casino.  Vaughn reported to work on May 28, 2010, Vaughn reported to  work and gave her supervisor a doctor’s note explaining why she was out on May 26.  A couple of hours later she called her sister to tell her that she was in pain and asked her to come pick her up. Before her sister made it to the casino, Vaughn was found nearly passed out having suffered a heart attack. She was taken to a hospital but was dead before she got there.  Vaughn’s estate sued FSS and Gold Strike for false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The Estate alleges that Vaughn was told she could not leave  work because it was  Memorial Day weekend.  The estate did not pursue a remedy under workers comp. on the grounds that her case was exempt under the “intent to injure” exception to the exclusive remedy of workers comp.  FSS moved for summary judgment  which was denied.   The Miss. S. Ct. granted FSS’s interloc.

The issues are:

1.   Whether the estate’s exclusive remedy against FSS  lies in the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Act since FSS did not have an “actual intent to injure” the decedent ii.

2.  Whether since the decedent was “found dead” at her place of employment, the statutory presumption at M.C.A.  § 71-3-3(b) establishes her exclusive remedy under the MWCA.

FSS’s brief

Vaughn’s brief

You can watch the argument here.

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