Washington Law Review


The recent case of Muck v. Snokomish County PUD presented an issue involving the compulsory coverage of the Industrial Insurance Act, more commonly known as Workmen's Compensation, which has been a confusing question in several other cases, and does not yet seem to be finally resolved. There an employee was a sales manager for an electrical appliance store, and his occupation as such did not bring him under the compulsory provisions of the Act. No industrial insurance premiums were paid for his time. On the day of his death, he accompanied the serviceman to a customer's house where they were to install a television set and erect a temporary outside antenna. This work is included by the statute as "extrahazardous" work, and comes under the compulsory provisions of the Act. While Muck was holding the antenna for the serviceman it came in contact with high tension wires maintained by the defendant, and Muck was electrocuted. His widow sued the defendant for negligently causing her husband's death, and as a defense to this action the defendant contended that Muck was engaged in covered employment at the time of his death and therefore his widow was foreclosed from suing at common law under the immunity provisions of the Workmen's Compensation Act. Muck was found not to be covered by the Act; therefore, the action in tort could be maintained.

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