Does the Workers' Compensation Law Protect Employer from Liability for Intentional Injury Against An Employee ?
In Eller v. Shova, 630 So. 2d 537, 539 (Fla. 1993), the court upheld the constitutionality of legislation that limited an employee's actions against managerial or policy-making coemployees to ones alleging intentional injury or injury by culpable negligence.
the court reaffirmed the prior decisions recognizing, as have the district courts and many jurisdictions around the country, that workers' compensation law does not protect an employer from liability for an intentional tort against an employee. See, e.g., Cunningham v. Anchor Hocking Corp., 558 So. 2d 93, 97 (Fla. 1st DCA 1990); Clark v. Gumby's Pizza Systems, Inc., 674 So. 2d 902, 904 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996); see also Larson & Larson, supra, 68.11- 68.15.
The court defined culpable negligence as follows:
Culpable negligence has been defined through case law as "reckless indifference" or "grossly careless disregard" of human life. Gross negligence, on the other hand, is defined as an act or omission that a reasonable, prudent person would know is likely to result in injury to another. 630 So. 2d at 541 n.3.