WORKER'S COMPENSATION CASES

Worker's Compensation insures employees for "compensable injuries" and disabilities. To the new student of Worker's Compensation the most notable thing about the concept of "compensable injury" is how broad it is. It is a "no fault insurance plan"; the insurer pays regardless of who caused the injury. These state laws limit coverage only to those injuries and disabilities "arising out of and in the course of employment." Please consider the following cases and you be the judge. Use as your guide: "Did this problem arise out of and in the course of employment?" If you answer is yes, the employee or the heirs are entitled to benefits.

A. A traveling salesman is on the road overnight. In the course of his stay at a flea bag motel he somehow dislodged the mattress and suffocated when his head was caught between the metal slats of this bed. Compensable?

B. A gardener in Texas was stung by a bee while tending roses on the company grounds. His wife made a claim following his death. Compensable?

C. An engineer was sent to Africa to supervise a construction project. The thoughtful company provided prostitutes for his benefit since it was unfeasible to relocate his wife. The poor man has contracted AIDS and now has filed a claim. Compensable?

D. My brother sustained a broken thumb while playing softball in an intra - league game while working for Boeing. Boeing encouraged workers to participate in league activities, feeling it would contribute to morale at the company. Compensable?

E. A judge postponed his vacation in order to reduce the backlog of cases on his calendar. Unfortunately, he suffered a heart attack during this period and his wife made a claim for a death benefit. Compensable?

F. A male production supervisor asked one of his female workers to work overtime. The worker answered that it would make her miss her carpool ride home. Since the company rule required the supervisor to stay on the job whenever subordinates work overtime, and since the worker lived only a few miles from the supervisor, the supervisor offered to drive her home. By the time they left work, it was dark and the roads were icy. The supervisor's car skidded off the road and the force of the skid pushed the worker over into the arms of the supervisor. One thing led to another, and the worker hit the supervisor and caused an injury that hospitalized him for an extended period. The supervisor filed a worker's compensation claim against his employer for lost pay and medical expenses. Compensable?

G. A supervisor repeatedly reprimanded a worker, who retaliated with threats against the supervisor. Shortly thereafter, the supervisor took a position with another company. Later in a tavern, he met the worker he had reprimanded, who made good on his earlier threats. As a result of the brawl, the supervisor suffered a disabling injury. He sued his former employer for worker's compensation. Compensable?

 

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