Case name: Fascilla Landscaping, 111 NYWCLR 151 (N.Y.W.C.B. 2011).
The New York Workers' Compensation Board held that a landscaper, who was injured when his supervisor threw him to the ground, sustained an accident arising out of and in the course of his employment.
What it means: In New York, an employer is not liable for an injury that was caused by an injured worker's "willful intention" to cause injury to another. An injury resulting from an impulsive act, however, may be compensable.
Summary: Upon mandatory review, the full board held that a landscaper, who was injured by his supervisor at work, sustained an accident arising out of and in the course of his employment. The landscaper testified that he got into an altercation with his supervisor regarding the way the landscaper was blowing and raking leaves. The supervisor threw the landscaper to the ground and stepped on his chest. The full board explained that the altercation between the landscaper and his supervisor was not purely personal. There was a nexus between the alleged assault and the employment, as the landscaper, a coworker, and the supervisor all testified that the incident stemmed from the way the landscaper was raking leaves. Also, there was insufficient evidence in the record to find that the landscaper's actions were willful and deliberate, as opposed to impulsive. Therefore, the landscaper sustained an accident that arose out of and in the course of his employment. The full board further found that the treating doctor provided persuasive testimony that the landscaper sustained causally related injuries to the low back upon landing on the ground.
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October 10, 2011
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