Superior Labour Court confirms understandings for not suspending labour claim during proceeding in the admiralty court
In a recent decision involving discussion of the employer’s civil liability, the Superior Labour Court agreed that the company’s liability for an accident at work resulting from the wreck of vessel, does not depend on the Maritime Court’s technical and specialized investigation to result in the suspension of the labour proceedings.
The understanding adopted by the Superior Labour Court took into account the fact that, in the labour sphere the duty to indemnify is independent of the employer’s proof of guilt or will. Based on this premise, the Justices understood that the damages suffered by their employees during the exercise of their respective duties should be repaired, in the form of art. 932, item III, of the Civil Code, which is why there would be no need to wait for the outcome of the proceedings that are in parallel before that Admiralty Court.
Such understanding, however, must be viewed with caution, in view of the terms provided in art. 313, item VII, of the Brazilian Civil Procedure, which impose the suspension of the process in the cases in which it is discussed in Court a question arising from an accident of navigation of jurisdiction of the Admiralty Court. The suspension of the case would be justified by the fact that, even in the hypotheses of employer´s liability, causation still needs to be established. Consequently, the technical decision of a specialized court such as the Admiralty Court could, in theory, modify the final outcome of a claim brought before the labour court.