Section 25-5-14

Legislative findings and intent as to actions filed by injured employee against officers, etc., of same employer.

The Legislature finds that actions filed on behalf of injured employees against officers, directors, agents, servants, or employees of the same employer seeking to recover damages in excess of amounts received or receivable from the employer under the workers' compensation statutes of this state and predicated upon claimed negligent or wanton conduct resulting in injuries arising out of and in the course of employment are contrary to the intent of the Legislature in adopting a comprehensive workers' compensation scheme and are producing a debilitating and adverse effect upon efforts to retain existing, and to attract new industry to this state. Specifically, the existence of such causes of action places this state at a serious disadvantage in comparison to the existing laws of other states with whom this state competes in seeking to attract and retain industrial operations which would provide better job opportunities and increased employment for people in this state. The existence of such causes of action, and the consequent litigation resulting therefrom, results in substantial costs and expenses to employers which, as a practical matter, must either procure additional liability insurance coverage for supervisory and management employees or fund the costs of defense, judgment or settlement from their own resources in order to retain competent and reliable personnel. The existence of such causes of action has a disruptive effect upon the relationship among employees and supervisory and management personnel. There is a total absence of any reliable evidence that the availability of such causes of action has resulted in any reduction of the number or severity of on-the-job accidents or of any substantial improvement on providing safe working conditions and work practices. The intent of the Legislature is to provide complete immunity to employers and limited immunity to officers, directors, agents, servants, or employees of the same employer and to the workers' compensation insurance carrier and compensation service companies of the employer or any officer, director, agent, servant, or employee of such carrier or company and to labor unions and to any official or representative thereof, from civil liability for all causes of action except those based on willful conduct and such immunity is an essential aspect of the workers' compensation scheme. The Legislature hereby expressly reaffirms its intent, as set forth in Section 25-5-53, as amended herein, and Sections 25-5-144 and 25-5-194, regarding the exclusivity of the rights and remedies of an injured employee, except as provided for herein.

(Acts 1984, 2nd Ex. Sess., No. 85-41, p. 44, §1.)