Texas Supreme Court Holds No Privilege in Communication between Workers’ Compensation Insurer’s Attorney and Employer
In a recent decision, the Texas Supreme Court held that communications between an attorney for a workers’ compensation insurer and the insured employer were not privileged. In the case, an injured employee sought the communications between the insurer’s attorney and the insured employer during the administrative proceedings. The insurer argued that the attorney-client privilege protected those communications. The Texas Supreme Court held that the communications were not privileged and thus were not protected from discovery. The court stated that since the communications were not made to the insured employer’s attorney, and the insured was not a party to the pending action, the privilege did not apply. In light of this decision, employers should review communications with workers’ compensation insurers and, if deemed appropriate, use legal counsel to handle such communications to preserve the attorney-client privilege. In re XL Specialty Insurance Co., No. 10-0960 (Tex. June 29, 2012). The full opinion can be found here.