Workers’ compensation statutes provide a form of mandatory insurance, guaranteeing compensation without regard to fault for employees who suffer injuries while in the course and scope of their employment. Not all employees or employers, however, are protected by state workers’ compensation statutes. In the first half of the 20th century, most jurisdictions enacted exclusions to the provisions of their workers’ compensation statutes for agricultural operations or agricultural laborers. The transformation of agriculture from traditional family farm to commercial operation has resulted in legal difficulties in determining whether a farm is the traditional farm operation which the workers’ compensation statutes were initially intended to except, or whether it is a commercial operation falling within the parameters of the acts. Larsen v. D B Feedyards exemplifies this dilemma.The purpose of this Note is to analyze the consequences of the Nebraska Supreme Court’s holding in Larsen. Part II of this Note discusses the background and development of the agriculture exception in Nebraska. Part III first assesses the Nebraska Supreme Court’s analysis of Larsen v. D B Feedyards and then explores the consequences of the court’s effective abrogation of the agricultural exception as it existed prior to August 2003. This Note concludes by discussing the necessity of legislative action to clarify the exception and the Legislature’s subsequent response.
Stephanie E. Frost,
Larsen v. D B Feedyards, Inc., 264 Neb. 483, 645 N.W.2d 306 (2002): The Abrogation of the Agricultural Exemption in Nebraska Workers' Compensation?,
82 Neb. L. Rev.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol82/iss3/7