Coworker's conflicting version of truck incident undermines claim
Case name: Arciga v. AT&T, No. WD74226 (Mo. Ct. App. 05/09/12).
Ruling: The Missouri Court of Appeals held that a technician failed to prove that he suffered an accident arising out of his employment.
What it means: In Missouri, a worker's failure to mention an incident to a medical provider and a coworker's conflicting testimony about the incident can show that a worker failed to prove that he suffered an accident arising out of his employment.
Summary: A systems technician for a company was instructed by his supervisor to travel to a nearby location where a company truck driven by a coworker was stuck in mud. The technician said that when he arrived he positioned himself behind the truck and attempted to push the truck while the coworker pressed on the accelerator to attempt to move the truck. He claimed that he injured both of his shoulders. He sought chiropractic treatment but did not mention hurting his shoulder while pushing a coworker's truck. He indicated that he might have hurt his shoulders by carrying equipment up and down ladders. The technician sought benefits. The Missouri Court of Appeals held that he was not entitled to benefits.
The court pointed out that the coworker testified that he was not aware of the technician pushing his truck. The coworker said that they attempted to hook up a tow rope from the technician's vehicle to the coworker's truck. The coworker said that the technician was not dirty with mud. The court said that the coworker's testimony and the technician's failure to mention to the chiropractor that the truck incident caused his injury created an inference that he did not push the coworker's vehicle. The court found that he failed to prove he suffered an accident arising out of his employment.
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July 2, 2012
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