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Smith v. City of Lubbock, 351 S.W.3d 584 (Tex.App.– Amarillo 2011, pet.filed)

Worker’s Compensation-Underinsured Motorist Policy– Employee who was struck by a drunk driver while working in the course and scope of his employment brought action against his employer and the insurance carrier to collect damages under employer’s underinsured motorist policy, even though he had already received worker’s compensation benefits.  The district court entered summary judgment in favor of employer city and insurer. The insurance company conceded on appeal that the judgment for it should be reversed and remanded to trial court.  The court of appeals held that worker’s compensation laws barred additional recovery against the employer city. The city had purchased an underinsured policy for its employees, even though the city had worker’s compensation that covered them for injuries in the scope of employment.  The employee argued that the worker’s compensation only precluded work related injuries arising from common law torts as opposed to a contract.  The court of appeals rejected this contention holding that the worker’s compensation statute prohibits further recovery against the employer.