Adams Fruit Co. v. Barrett

In Adams Fruit Co. v. Barrett, 494 U.S. 638, 110 S.Ct. 1384, 1390-91, 108 L.Ed.2d 585 (1990), employees sued their employer for injuries they allegedly suffered when the employer intentionally violated the motor vehicle safety provisions of a federal worker protection statute. The employer, relying in part upon the Labor Department's interpretation of the statute, argued that the state workers' compensation law provided the exclusive remedy. In the course of rejecting that argument, the Supreme Court held that even if the federal statute was ambiguous on this point, the Labor Department's interpretation of the statute was not entitled to deference: the Congress had given the Department a role in administering the statute, requiring the Secretary to promulgate standards implementing the motor vehicle provisions, but it had not delegated to the Department the power to "regulate the scope of the judicial power vested by the statute." Id. 494 U.S. at 110 S.Ct. at 1391.