NORFOLK (AP) -- A judge has stopped a lawsuit filed by the widow of a Norfolk police recruit who collapsed during training and later died.
Norfolk Circuit Court Judge Mary Jane Hall ruled that Virginia's worker's compensation law is the remedy for the family of 40-year-old John Kohn.
The Virginian-Pilot reports that Hall granted the city's motion for summary judgment on Monday.
Kohn collapsed during self-defense training at the Norfolk Police Department on Dec. 9, 2010, and later died. A state Labor Department investigation found he was repeatedly struck in the head. His widow, Patricia Kohn sued a former police chief, a former acting police chief and several training officers in 2011.
An attorney for Kohn's family, James C. Lewis, says he plans to appeal Hall's ruling to the Virginia Supreme Court.
The following statement was issued from the City Attorney’s office:
The City extends its sympathy to the Kohn family on the loss of Mr. Kohn.
Virginia law dictates the forum wherein claims for workplace injuries and deaths can be brought.
The issue heard yesterday was whether the Circuit Court of Norfolk could properly maintain jurisdiction over the wrongful death claim filed by Mr. Kohn’s estate, or whether the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission has exclusive jurisdiction over the claim for his death.
Judge Hall determined the claim was within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission.
The City’s position has always been that Mr. Kohn’s family was entitled to full death benefits provided for under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act.
Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com