Moorefield v. Boxco, Inc., No. 0559-11-3 (Va. Ct. App. 08/30/11).
Ruling: The Virginia Court of Appeals held that a worker's injuries that occurred during a robbery and assault did not arise out of the course of his employment.
What it means: In Virginia, a worker is not entitled to benefits for injuries occurring during an assault while he was on duty if there is no causal connection between the assault and his employment.
Summary: A worker was contracted through his employer to work for a cable company collecting unpaid bills, disconnecting cable service, and removing cable boxes. He went behind a building to disconnect cable service for an apartment, and when he returned to the front of the building, he noticed two men on the sidewalk. The worker thought he recognized one of the men as someone he previously spoke with about an unpaid bill. One of the men struck him with a gun or pipe, causing him to fall to the ground. The men kicked him in the head, took his wallet, and left. The men did not take the money belonging to the cable company that the worker had in his front pocket. The worker sought temporary total disability benefits, a disfigurement award, payment of medical bills, and a lifetime medical award. The Virginia Court of Appeals held that he was not entitled to benefits.
In Virginia, workers are not entitled to benefits when an injury comes from a hazard to which the worker would have been equally exposed apart from the employment. Here, the court found there was no causal connection between the robbery and the employment. The court found the men did not know the worker carried money because of his employment, separate and apart from knowing that he personally carried money in his wallet. The court determined that the robbery and assault did not arise out of the course of the worker's employment.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
October 13, 2011
Copyright 2011© LRP Publications