A well-known work comp writer publishes an annual Top 10 list of the most bizarre workers compensation cases. When it comes to bizarre, the year 2020 really shines bright!
Three of the top 10 bizarre cases for 2020 are COVID-related. Are you surprised? I’m certainly not. More specifically, all three coronavirus-related cases involved assaults. Again, I’m not surprised at all. We lived through a turbulent year! I’m using the past-tense “lived” in the hope we are entering a time of greater stability and sanity.
When A Virus Infects The Workplace With Violence!
Let’s take a look at the three coronavirus-related workplace assault cases that made the bizarre list. In any other year, these workplace injuries would truly be shocking.
Resident Shoots Postal Worker Over Late Stimulus Check
A man shot a postal worker on his mail route. How did this happen? The postmaster had previously suspended service to the man’s house because of his vicious dog. Naturally, postal workers are at risk of dog bite and dog attack injuries.
On the day in question, the postal worker approached a neighbor’s house to deliver the mail. Unfortunately, the angry resident was on his neighbor’s porch. When the postal worker approached, an argument started over the resident’s delayed stimulus check. At some point, the postal worker felt threatened and sprayed mace on the angry resident. The resident retaliated by shooting and killing the postal worker.
Customer Punches Bowling Alley Manager Over Request To Wear Mask
In November, a bowling alley manager asked a group of patrons to wear a mask inside the building. The patrons refused. Keep in mind the mask requirement was mandated by state government. The manager had no choice.
When the customers continued to refuse, the manager asked them to leave and escorted them to the door. Once outside, one patron punched the manager. When the manager fell to the ground, other members of the group began kicking him. The manager suffered serious injuries requiring hospitalization.
Group Of Women Beat-Up Restaurant Hostess
Yeah, you read the headline correctly! A group of 13 women entered a Chili’s restaurant. Because of state-mandated distancing rules, the 17 year old hostess had to seat them at different tables. The women did not take it well! One woman pushed the hostess. Another woman then hit the hostess over the head with a nearby “wet floor” sign.
You can read the full top 10 list for 2020 HERE. Are workplace assaults covered by work comp in Alabama? In most cases, the answer is yes.
Are You Entitled To Work Comp Benefits If Assaulted At Work In Alabama?
I’ve written on this blog previously about workplace assaults and workers compensation. Over the years, I’ve handled numerous workplace assault injury claims.
Some of these cases involve assaults by a customer or visitor. In one recent case of mine, a Huntsville client was violently assaulted while performing his maintenance job at an apartment. He suffered serious head trauma with a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Some of these cases involve actual assaults by a co-worker. Co-worker cases often involve employees angry at some employment decision. The company may have disciplined or terminated the employee who then becomes violent in the workplace. But, that’s not always the case. Several years ago, I represented a parcel delivery driver who was assaulted by a company mechanic while waiting on his truck. It turns out this mechanic had a history of assaulting drivers. Yet, the company took little action to stop the issue.
Are you entitled to workers compensation benefits if injured by a workplace assault in Alabama? In many cases, the answer is yes.
When our courts look at assault cases, they generally examine the facts to decide whether or not the assault had some relationship to the work. If purely personal, then you are not entitled to work comp benefits. If injured by an assault, you must prove that it had some connection to your work more than just simply your presence at the worksite.
Assault cases are usually disputed by the insurance company. The insurance company knows these cases are won or lost based on detailed facts. Because of that, you should seek legal counsel with trial experience if seriously injured in the workplace.
The Blackwell Law Firm represents injured workers across Alabama. If you have questions about a workplace injury, let us know. Consultations and advice are always free and confidential. We are happy to answer your Alabama personal injury questions.