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Click here for the full text of this decision It would disturb the balance the Workers’ Compensation Act achieved if an employee, injured by the intentional tort of a co-employee, was able to sue and recover from their employer simply because the tort was committed 1. at work 2. by an employee of the company. Something more must be present to bring the case within the intentional injury exception. FACTS:Richard Urdiales’ job supervisor, Alfredo Cantu, struck Urdiales in the chest with a steel pipe when Urdiales returned to work late from lunch. Cantu received a written warning from their employer, Concord Technologies Delaware, and he was convicted of criminal assault. Urdiales filed suit against Cantu and Concord. Urdiales was subsequently fired. Concord moved for summary judgment on the ground that Urdiales’ claims against the company violation of Labor Code � 21.055, assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent hiring, negligent retention, negligent supervision and training, negligent entrustment, and liability based on respondeat superior � were barred by the Workers’ Compensation Act. The trial court judge granted the motion, denied Urdiales’ partial no-evidence motion for summary judgment, severed the claims against Cantu and then recused herself. On appeal, Urdiales argues 1. his negligence claims were not barred by the Workers’ Compensation Act but were instead based on Concord’s responsibility for the employment of an unfit, dangerous or unqualified employee; 2. his intentional tort claims were viable under a respondeat superior theory; and 3. his retaliation claim was based on his participation in a protected activity. HOLDING:Affirmed. The court first refuses to set aside the trial judge’s recusal, citing a lack of support for whether or why the judge did or did not meet the grounds for recusal. The court rejects Urdiales’ argument that his claim is excepted from falling under the Workers’ Compensation Act because there his injuries arose out of Cantu’s personal animosity toward him, not because of his work. Acknowledging that a “personal animosity” exception exists, the court nonetheless finds it inapplicable; the court also notes that the exception is very narrow. The Supreme Court cases interpreting the exception have both required the prior existence of a personal dispute or animosity outside the work context that motivated Cantu to assault Urdiales. Instead, Cantu assaulted Urdiales within the context of an argument over Urdiales’ late return from lunch, which was connected to performance of his job. The court next finds Urdiales cannot rely on another exception to the general application of the Workers’ Compensation Act: one for intentional tort claims. The court notes this exception applies only when the assailant is, in effect, the alter ego of the corporation. The mere fact that the assailant holds a supervisory position over the plaintiff does not trigger the exception. Finally, the court rebuffs Urdiales’ argument that he was fired in retaliation for filing his lawsuit, which he claims is a protected activity under Labor Code �21.055. Chapter 21 of the Labor Code prohibits retaliation only when related to race, color, disability, religion, sex, national origin or age. OPINION:Fowler, J.; Brister, C.J., Fowler and Edelman, JJ.

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