Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Myers v. Yamato Kogyo Company, Ltd.

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Divisions I & IV

May 29, 2019

MARY KATHERINE MYERS, WIDOW [OF MICHAEL EARL MYERS] AND ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF MICHAEL EARL MYERS, DECEASED APPELLANT
v.
YAMATO KOGYO COMPANY, LTD.; SUMITOMO CORPORATION, ARKANSAS STEEL ASSOCIATES; SUMITOMO CORPORATION OF AMERICAS D/B/A SUMITOMO CORPORATION OF AMERICA, SC STEEL INVESTMENT, INC.; S.C. STEEL INVESTMENT, LLC; YAMATO KOGYO (U.S.A.) CORPORATION; AND YAMATO KOGYO AMERICA, INC. APPELLEES

          APPEAL FROM THE ARKANSAS WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION [NO. G401823]

          Paul Byrd Law Firm, PLLC, by: Paul Byrd and Paul D. Gates; John Patterson, P.A., Attorney at Law, by: John Patterson; Brian G. Brooks, Attorney at Law, by: Brian G. Brooks; and Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett & Bendesky, P.C., by: David L. Kwass, and David Langsam, Pro Hac Vice, for appellant.

          Wright Lindsey & Jennings LLP, by: John D. Davis, Scott A. Irby, Baxter D. Drennon, and Michael A. Thompson, for appellees.

          BRANDON J. HARRISON, JUDGE.

         Michael Myers was killed at work when a load of molten metal spilled and covered his body. His employer, Arkansas Steel Associates, LLC, did not dispute that Myers's death on 19 February 2014 was work related and is paying death benefits to Michael's widow, Mary Myers. In May 2016, Mary Myers, individually and as an administratrix of her husband's estate and a representative of his wrongful-death beneficiaries, filed a lawsuit in the White County Circuit Court. The circuit court, in part, transferred jurisdiction to the Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission. In June 2018, the Commission found that some entities-Yamato Kogyo Company, Ltd.; Sumitomo Corporation; Sumitomo Corporation of Americas d/b/a Sumitomo Corporation of America; S.C. Steel Investment, Inc.; S.C. Steel Investment, LLC; Yamato Kogyo (U.S.A.) Corporation; and Yamato Kogyo America, Inc.-were entitled to the exclusive-remedy provisions of the Arkansas Workers' Compensation Act. Myers appeals that decision.

         This appeal raises at least two important questions in the law of workers' compensation:

• May an employee of a subsidiary entity sue one or more parent corporations in tort, or are parent corporations immune "employers" under the exclusive-remedy provision of the Workers' Compensation Act? See Ark. Code Ann. § 11-9-105(a) (Supp. 2017).
• If one or more parent corporations are deemed "employers" within the meaning of the act, does that violate article 5, section 32 of the Arkansas Constitution? Ark. Const. art. V, § 32, amended by Ark. Const. amend. XXVI.

         I.

         The parties stipulated to the following facts when litigating this case before the administrative law judge:

1. On February 29, 2014, Michael Earl Myers was employed by Arkansas Steel Associates, LLC as a ladle man in a steel plant.
2. While Michael Myers was working in the course and scope of his employment for Arkansas Steel Associates, LLC, a load of molten metal spilled from a Hot Metal Crane inside the Melt Shop of the steel plant.
3. The molten metal engulfed his entire body causing, among other things, catastrophic injuries and death.
4. Liberty Mutual Insurance, Arkansas Steel Associates, LLC's insurance carrier, is paying death benefits to Claimant Mary Myers, the widow of Michael Earl Myers, arising from his work-related death.
5. Arkansas Steel Associates, a New York general partnership, no longer exists and is hereby dismissed from this action.
6. S.C. Steel Investment, Inc. no longer exists and is hereby dismissed from this action.
7. Sumitomo Corporation of Americas was a principal and stockholder of Arkansas Steel Associates, LLC at the time of Michael Earl Myers' afore-described workplace injury and death.
8. At the time of Michael Earl Myers' afore-described workplace injury and death, Sumitomo Corporation wholly owned Summit Global Management of America, Inc., which wholly owned Sumitomo Corporation of Americas.
9. After Michael Earl Myers' afore-described workplace injury and death, Summit Global Management of America, Inc. merged into Sumitomo Corporation of Americas.
10. S.C. Steel Investment, LLC was a principal and stockholder of Arkansas Steel Associates, LLC at the time of Michael Earl Myers' afore-described workplace injury and death.
11. Sumitomo Corporation wholly owned S.C. Steel Investment, LLC at the time of Michael Earl Myers' afore-described workplace injury and death.
12. Yamato Kogyo (U.S.A.) Corporation was a principal and stockholder of Arkansas Steel Associates, LLC at the time of Michael Earl Myers' afore-described workplace injury and death.
13. Yamato Kogyo America, Inc. wholly owned Yamato Kogyo (U.S.A.) Corporation at the time of Michael Earl Myers' ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.