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Workers’ compensation approved for company picnic injury

Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Lawyers

Workers' compensation for a game of kick ball? That's right. Companies have their employees participate in non-work activities usually at least once a year, whether at a team-building exercise or company picnic. Although many of the "activities" at company picnics do not require participation, there are trust exercises and other situations where an employee can be urged to place him- or herself in harm's way. When this is the case, that employee may have the right to collect workers' compensation benefits as a result of the injury.

In this particular case, a South Carolina man was participating in a game of kickball, organized as a company "team-building exercise," broke a bone in each leg while running the base path. Records show that the man has since undergone two major surgeries and will soon need a replacement knee.

Per his initial request, the man's workers' compensation claim was denied because comp commissioners agreed that he was not required to attend or play in the game. The man appealed, claiming that his supervisor tasked him with organizing the game and he was therefore required to attend.

The court of appeals actually still decided that the man did not have the right to receive workers' compensation benefits. The case was taken to South Carolina Supreme Court where the powers that be ruled in favor of the victim, citing the fact that although it was technically a voluntary employee activity, this particular situation was different, especially because the victim in question actually organized the event. The court said that as the event organizer, the man was "expected to attend as part of his professional duties." The man's supervisor even concurred with the ruling, telling the court that he expected the man to be there and would have been taken aback if he was not in attendance.

Dallas W. Hartman, P.C. – PA Workers' Comp Attorneys – 800.777.4081

Nearly all of the workers' compensation claims made here in Pennsylvania involve an injury that was suffered while the worker was doing his or her job. In some cases, however, the situation is not always so clear. If you were injured on the job or at an employee event and you believe that you may have a workers' compensation claim, call the Pennsylvania workers' compensation advocates at Dallas W. Hartman P.C. at 800-777-4081 for a free case evaluation.

Source: US News, "State court: Workers' comp OK for kickball injury" 27 August 2014

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