Comp doesn't cover ski instructor's wipeout on slope while going over jump
Case name: Buitendorp v. Swiss Valley, Inc. d/b/a Swiss Valley Ski Resort, 112 MIWCLR 77 (Mich. C.A.C. 2012).
Ruling: The Michigan Compensation Appellate Commission held that a ski instructor's injury while going over a jump was not covered by workers' compensation.
What it means: In Michigan, a worker's injuries can be statutorily excluded from coverage if the major purpose of his activities at the time of injury were social or recreational.
Summary: A ski instructor released his class and while skiing downhill decided to go over a jump for a photographer on the mountain. When he landed, he fell back and injured his neck. In remanding the case, the Michigan Supreme Court explained that the critical inquiry in determining whether to apply the statutory exclusion from coverage is whether the major purpose of the plaintiff's activities at the time of injury were social or recreational. On remand, the commission reversed the magistrate's finding that the instructor sustained a compensable injury. The magistrate's uncontested finding after remand that the instructor's activities at the time of injury were solely personal in nature supported the conclusion that his injury was not covered by workers' compensation.
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October 29, 2012
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