Michael B., as father and next friend of KaLeigh B., appellant,
Northfield Retirement Communities, appellee.
Workers' Compensation: Appeal and Error.
Pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. § 48-185 (Cum. Supp. 2016),
an appellate court may only modify, reverse, or set aside a
Workers' Compensation Court decision when (1) the
compensation court acted without or in excess of its powers;
(2) the judgment, order, or award was procured by fraud; (3)
there is not sufficient competent evidence in the record to
warrant the making of the order, judgment, or award; or (4)
the findings of fact by the compensation court do not support
the order or award.
___. Determinations by a trial judge of the Workers'
Compensation Court will not be disturbed on appeal unless
they are contrary to law or depend on findings of fact which
are clearly wrong in light of the evidence.
Death: Presumptions. The presumption against
suicide is one of law, not of fact, and is based upon the
natural characteristics of persons for love of life and fear
Death: Presumptions: Evidence: Proof. The
presumption against suicide can be overcome and rebutted by
the introduction of evidence tending to show how the death
___:___:___:___. If the presumption against suicide is
overcome, the burden shifts to the party asserting the death
was accidental to adduce evidence of such.
Workers' Compensation: Negligence. A
claimant cannot recover under the workers' compensation
law if the employee was willfully negligent.
___:___. Willful negligence consists of a deliberate act,
conduct evidencing a reckless indifference to safety, or
intoxication at the time of injury without consent,
knowledge, or acquiescence of the employer.
Neb.App. 505] 8. Workers'
Compensation: Negligence: Death. Committing suicide
generally constitutes willful negligence within the meaning
of Neb. Rev. Stat. § 48-151(7) (Reissue 2010) and
thereby bars recovery under the workers' compensation
Workers' Compensation: Negligence: Death:
Evidence. There is an exception to the rule that
suicide constitutes willful negligence when the evidence
shows that suicide was nonvoluntary.
___:___:___:___. There are factors that can override a
person's free will, and scientific testimony to such can
be admitted as evidence that the suicide was not willful,
thereby allowing for workers' compensation recovery.
from the Workers' Compensation Court: Daniel R. Fridrich,
Michael W. Meister for appellant.
Gregory D. Worth, of McAnany, Van Cleave & Phillips, for
Chief Judge, and Riedmann and Bishop, Judges.