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Nebraska Workers' Compensation Legal Library

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48-127. Compensation; willful negligence; intoxication; effect.

If the employee is injured by reason of his or her intentional willful negligence, or by reason of being in a state of intoxication, neither he or she nor his or her beneficiaries shall receive any compensation under the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act.


  • Laws 1913, c. 198, 27, p. 592;
  • R.S.1913, 3668;
  • C.S.1922, 3050;
  • C.S.1929, 48-127;
  • R.S.1943, 48-127;
  • Laws 1986, LB 811, 46.


    Whether or not effected by this section, employee's acceptance of benefits under Workmen's Compensation Act ordinarily constitutes release to employer of claims at law arising from the injury. Edelman v. Ralph Printing & Lithographing, Inc., 189 Neb. 763, 205 N.W.2d 340 (1973).

    The burden of proving intoxication as a defense is on the employer. Johnson v. Hahn Bros. Constr. Inc., 188 Neb. 252, 196 N.W.2d 109 (1972).

    Deviation from authorized route of travel was not willful negligence. Krajeski v. Beem, 157 Neb. 586, 60 N.W.2d 651 (1953).

    Participant in fight was not willfully negligent. Myszkowski v. Wilson & Co., Inc., 155 Neb. 714, 53 N.W.2d 203 (1952).

    Moving of well-digging machinery so as to come in contact with electric power line was not willful negligence. Schroeder v. Sharp, 153 Neb. 73, 43 N.W.2d 572 (1950).

    Willful, as used in this section, means deliberate act; conduct evidencing reckless indifference to safety; more than want of ordinary care. Clark v. Village of Hemingford, 147 Neb. 1044, 26 N.W.2d 15 (1947).

    Disobedience of order not to smoke did not constitute willful negligence. Moise v. Fruit Dispatch Co., 135 Neb. 684, 283 N.W. 495 (1939).

    Where defense is willful negligence, any competent evidence tending to show knowledge by employee of the dangerous character of the act which subsequently caused his death should be received, and it was error to exclude testimony of witness that he had warned deceased of his danger. Richards v. Abts, 135 Neb. 347, 281 N.W. 611 (1938).

    In view of holding that accident by which employee met his death did not arise out of his employment, question of his willful negligence, though doubtful, was not decided. Feda v. Cudahy Packing Co., 102 Neb. 110, 166 N.W. 190 (1918).

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