Harris v. Casualty Reciprocal Exchange
Texas Supreme Court
632 S.W.2d 714 (1982)
Paul Stone was fatally shot while working as the night manager at The Green House nightclub. Stone was a vice president and director of Marju Enterprises, Inc. (Marju), the entity that did business as the club. However, Stone had also been working as the club’s night manager for approximately two months to fill a vacancy left by a former club employee. As night manager, Stone performed tasks including hiring and firing staff, scheduling shifts, and overseeing club operations. Following Stone’s death, Stone’s surviving family members and his executors (plaintiffs) sought workers’-compensation benefits from Marju’s workers’-compensation insurance provider, Casualty Reciprocal Exchange (Casualty) (defendant). Casualty asserted that Stone was not a covered employee under Marju’s workers’-compensation insurance policy because Stone was one of Marju’s corporate executive officers. However, Stone’s family and executors argued that Stone was employed by Marju as both an officer and a manager and that Stone was a covered employee while working as a manager. A jury awarded benefits after finding that Stone was employed by Marju in two capacities and that Stone was performing substitute-manager duties when the shooting occurred. However, the appellate court reversed, holding that benefits were unavailable because Stone was a Marju officer. The family members and executors appealed to the Texas Supreme Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Pope, J.)
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