The affirmative defense of willful misconduct has seen several dramatic changes in the last few years, with decisions from the Georgia Court of Appeals and now the Georgia Supreme Court. ... Continue Reading
A willful misconduct defense has always been notoriously difficult for an employer to assert, but now after a recent Court of Appeals decision, it is virtually impossible. O.C.G.A. § 34-9-17 states that "no compensation shall be allowed for an injury or death due to the employee's willful misconduct, including intentionally self-inflicted injury, or growing out of his or her attempt to injure another, or for the willful failure or refusal to use a safety appliance or perform a duty required by statute." Willful misconduct is an affirmative defense; it must be shown that the willful misconduct of the employee is the proximate cause of the injury by a preponderance of the evidence. Commc'ns, Inc. v. Cannon, 174 Ga. App. 820, 820 (331 S.E.2d 112) (1985). ... Continue Reading
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H. Michael Bagley