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Fu v. Owens, No. 09-2489

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By FindLaw Staff on October 07, 2010 10:33 AM

Summary Judgment for Worker's Compensation Insurer Affirmed

In Fu v. Owens, No. 09-2489, an action against a worker's compensation insurance carrier, claiming that it wrongfully denied plaintiff's claim for benefits due to a coworker's attack upon her, the court affirmed summary judgment for defendants where 1) although the record reflects that the coworker may have harbored racial animus toward plaintiff, it also reflects that she disliked plaintiff for specific, work-related reasons such as plaintiff reporting her allegedly inferior job performance to clinic supervisors; and 2) plaintiffs failed to provide substantial justification for failing to timely disclose a witness's affidavit nor have they demonstrated that such failure is harmless.

As the court wrote:  "Helen Fu and Ebonie Owens both worked for the Medcor clinic in the Knollwood, Minnesota Target retail store. One day Owens physically attacked Fu causing several injuries. Medcor terminated Owens. Fu applied for benefits under the Minnesota Workers' Compensation Act (WCA). After initially paying some benefits, Medcor's insurance carrier denied the claim, contending that the injuries were the result of an intentional act. Subsequently, Fu and her husband, Steven, sued Medcor in state court under several common-law theories and brought one federal claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The district court granted summary judgment on all claims and the Fus appeal. We affirm."

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