Conflicts in testimony stomp out custodian's claim for ant bites
Case name: Hymes v. Congregation of the Immaculate Conception d/b/a St. Mary's Catholic School, No. 11-449 (La. Ct. App. 10/05/11).
Ruling: The Louisiana Court of Appeal held that a school custodian was not entitled to benefits because he failed to prove his ant bites arose out of and in the course and scope of his employment.
What it means: In Louisiana, a worker's testimony alone may be sufficient to prove the occurrence of an unwitnessed incident if no other evidence discredits or casts serious doubt on the worker's version of events and the worker's testimony is corroborated by the circumstances following the alleged incident.
Summary: A custodian for a school allegedly was bitten by ants while working, but he could not remember the exact day he was bitten. The bites became infected, leading to the amputation of his leg. He sought benefits, and the school denied his claim. The Louisiana Court of Appeal held that he was not entitled to benefits.
The school alleged that the custodian originally told two coworkers that his ant bites occurred over the weekend and not on school grounds. Another coworker said he saw the custodian nursing his leg, and the custodian told him he was bitten by ants while working. The coworker advised the custodian that the school was responsible for the injury since he was hurt while working.
The custodian could not remember when he told his supervisor about his injury. The court explained there were clear conflicts in the testimony. The court found the custodian was not credible. Therefore, he failed to prove the occurrence of a work-related accident.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
November 21, 2011
Copyright 2011© LRP Publications