Master Mechanical Insulation, Inc. v. Richard Simmons

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The Cabell County Circuit Court certified three questions relating to the Respondent Simmons' deliberate intent action which was filed after the 2005 amendments to the deliberate intent statute, but where the injury occurred before the amendment. Simmons fell from a second floor balcony of an apartment complex. The questions are as follows:

1. Is Simmons' claim against Master Mechanical governed by the 2005 amendment to the deliberate intent statute, W. Va. Code ยง 23-4-2(d)(2)(ii), pursuant to Roney v. Gencorp, 431 F. Supp, 2d 622 (S.D. W. Va. 2006) and Corley v. Eastern Assoc. Coal Corp., 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22080 (N.D. W. Va. 2009)?
Circuit court's answer: Yes.

2. In light of the Supreme Court of Appeals' decision in Roberts v. Consolidation Coal Co., 539 S.E.2d (W. Va. 2000) and the facts [as set forth in the order], is an employer prohibited from introducing evidence or testimony, or arguing that an employee's conduct in the performance of the work for the employer was the proximate cause of the plaintiff's injury?
Circuit court's answer: Yes.

3. In light of the Supreme Court's ruling of October 19, 2008 that Simmons' injury was compensable under the West Virginia Worker's Compensation Act, is Master Mechanical precluded from arguing that Simmons was at the site of his own volition, and voluntarily agreed to remove the decontamination unit from the second floor of Building B?
Circuit court's answer: Yes.