Workers’ Compensation Claim??

Date: August 3, 2010
Posted In: DLP Law

Carolyn worked at a local fast-food restaurant. Carolyn had recently broken up with her boyfriend and her boyfriend was not taking it very well. Carolyn\’s boyfriend started stalking her as well as calling her at all hours of the night. Carolyn was working a night shift and after she punched out and was on her way to her car in the employer\’s parking lot, her boyfriend drove his car into her causing her serious injury.

ISSUE: Is Carolyn entitled to Workers\’ Compensation benefits?

ANSWER: No. Normally injuries incurred while one is on an employer\’s premises, including parking lots, are compensable. In this case though, Carolyn\’s injuries were caused by her boyfriend and his personal animosity towards her and thus did not in any way arise out of her scope of course of employment.

Carolyn will obviously have a law suit against her boyfriend, although the insurance coverage on her boyfriend\’s car will be denied since her injuries were caused by an intentional act. Carolyn may have a cause of action against her employer for failure to provide a safe work place, although this would be a difficult theory to prove, unless the employer was aware of her boyfriend\’s dangerous propensities and likelihood that he would strike out at her on the work premises.

Disclaimer: The above article is for instructive purposes only and each case is fact sensitive. Consultation with an attorney should be obtained instead of reliance upon the legal issues discussed in this column.

Tom Cummings
Thomas P. Cummings has been a Partner with Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP since 1996 and has been with the firm since 1991. He focuses his practice on workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability and personal injury cases.