Case name: Peak v. Baycare Health System, 18 FLWCLB 88 (Fla. JCC, St. Petersburg 2011).
A Florida judge of compensation claims ordered the employer/carrier to pay a worker temporary partial and temporary total disability benefits for a work-related neck injury.
What it means: In Florida, an injury sustained by a victim of a prank may be covered if it occurred in the course and scope of her employment.
Summary: A worker sustained a work injury after being subjected to a prank at work. Her coworkers placed a rubber snake on her desk. Upon seeing the snake, the worker pushed her chair back in a swift motion, which caused her head to snap backwards in a whiplash-type motion. The JCC found the worker's neck injury was caused by the prank, which occurred in the course and scope of her employment. Also, the JCC relied on the testimony of the claimant's authorized doctor, who stated that it was the prank incident that was the major contributing cause of the herniation of the claimant's cervical disc, which required surgical correction. The JCC found sufficient evidence to find a compensable connection between the work incident and the claimant's neck condition. The worker was awarded temporary partial and temporary total disability benefits.
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August 29, 2011
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