Case Caption: Francis Edward v. GEC, LLCCase Number: S. Ct. Civ. No. 2017-0025Date: 08/01/2017Author: Hodge, Rhys S. Citation: Summary:

Considering four questions addressed in two opinions of the Superior Court dated January 23, 2017, and subsequently certified for immediate appellate review in a February 14, 2017 order pursuant to the procedure set forth in title 4, section 33(c) of the Virgin Islands Code, the first question, insofar as it concerns whether immunity under the Virgin Islands Workers Compensation Act ("VIWCA") via 24 V.I.C. § 284 goes to subject-matter jurisdiction, is answered in the negative; however, insofar as it concerns whether VIWCA immunity is a waivable affirmative defense, it is answered in the affirmative. The second question, whether the Superior Court may permit substitution of one expert witness for another when the original expert witness has become unavailable, is answered in the affirmative. Lastly, because the Superior Court need only look to the qualifications and methodology of the substitute expert — provided, of course, that a challenge under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharms., 509 U.S. 579 (1993) has not already been waived — the third and fourth certified questions are answered in the negative. Accordingly, the Superior Court's rulings on these issues, as addressed in the two January 23, 2017 opinions, are affirmed in part and reversed in part, and the matter is remanded to the Superior Court for further proceedings consistent with the answers to the aforementioned certified questions.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion