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The assumption of the risk defense does not apply as a complete bar to recovery in negligence cases arising out of the employment context, a unanimous en banc Pennsylvania Superior Court has held.

“We conclude that in the negligence context, where an employee is required to encounter a risk in order to perform his job, reasonable minds could differ as to whether a plaintiff/employee ‘deliberately and with awareness of specific risks inherent in the activity nonetheless engaged in the activity that produced his injury,’” Judge Kate Ford Elliott wrote for court. “Thus the employee’s conduct is better judged by reasonableness, that is, by negligence principles.”

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