Assault by coworker's former boyfriend doesn't lead to benefits
McKinney v. City of Ashland, No. 2012-CA-000569-WC (Ky. Ct. App. 10/26/12, unpublished).
In an unpublished decision, the Kentucky Court of Appeals held that a meter reader was not entitled to benefits because his injury did not occur in the course of his employment.
What it means: In Kentucky, injuries arising from a workplace assault are not compensable if the attack was related to personal grievances between the parties.
A meter reader for a city shared a city work truck with a coworker to conduct their meter reading routes. When the reader finished his route, he waited in the truck for the coworker to return. The coworker's former boyfriend snuck up on the reader and began punching him through an open window. The reader claimed that he suffered injuries to his head and shoulder. At the time of the assault, the reader was the coworker's roommate. He offered the coworker a place to live when she ended her relationship with the boyfriend. The reader sought workers' compensation benefits. The Kentucky Court of Appeals held that he was not entitled to benefits.
The court explained that a workplace assault is not compensable if it is related to a personal grievance between the parties. The reader asserted there was no evidence that the coworker's former boyfriend was motivated by a personal grievance against him. He said his injuries were compensable because by virtue of traveling with the coworker his employment exposed him to the risk of being assaulted. The reader had testified that he believed he was attacked because the coworker ended her relationship with the boyfriend. Later, he claimed that he believed he was attacked simply because he happened to be with the coworker that day. The court said that in light of the reader's conflicting testimony it was reasonable to infer that the boyfriend was motivated by a personal grievance against him.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
February 4, 2013
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