Dual-Persona Doctrine Law and Legal Definition

Dual-Persona Doctrine refers to a principle whereby an employer who is normally shielded from tort liability by workers'compensation laws is made liable in tort to an employee if the liability stems from a second persona unrelated to the employer's status as an employer. Conceptually, under the "dual persona" doctrine the employee is not suing his/her employer, but rather the legal entity which is alleged to have caused his/her injury. The dual persona doctrine is an exception to the exclusive remedy provision which bars most tort claims by an employee against his employer.

In the U.S several states have adopted the dual persona doctrine in the context of product liability suits by employees. An injured employee may maintain tort action against employer when the employer is the corporate successor of the manufacturer of the defective product that caused the injury and the product was manufactured before the corporate merger. Courts have also applied the dual persona doctrine where the employer has other legally-recognized identities. However in cases where the employer does not have separate legal identities at the time of the work-related injury, courts have declined to apply the dual persona doctrine.