The two new headnotes from the case written by Justice Davis are as follows:
- When an at will employee has been discharged from his/her employment based upon his/her exercise of self-defense in response to lethal imminent danger, such right of self-defense constitutes a substantial public policy exception to the at will employment doctrine and will sustain a cause of action for wrongful discharge.
- An employer may rebut an employee's prima facie case of wrongful discharge resulting from the employee's use of self-defense in response to lethal imminent danger by demonstrating that it had a plausible and legitimate business reason to justify the discharge.
UPDATE: When I reviewed the case I didn't realize that fellow blawger in West Virginia, Brian Peterson, appeared as counsel in thecase. He has posted some interesting followup "insider" comments on the case here. I'm also interested as to the reason there was a reignition of interest in this case by David Kopel. After scanning his webpage I suspect it came about due to research he must be doing on a particular project or paper.