Restrictive “Mental-Mental” Coverage in State’s Comp Act Opens Door to Potential Liability
In a case with a bizarre fact pattern, a King County (Washington) public defender, who contended that she suffered post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after she was stalked and harassed by a criminal defendant she represented, may proceed against her employer in a civil action alleging a hostile work environment and negligence [LaRose v. King County, 2019 Wash. App. LEXIS 646 (Mar. 19, 2019)]. In pertinent part, the Court said her civil action was not barred by the exclusive remedy provisions of the state’s Industrial Insurance Act (IIA) since a genuine issue of fact existed regarding whether her PTSD and related injuries constituted a compensable “injury” under the IIA.