6 Unusual Worker’s Compensation Cases

Thousands of worker’s compensation claims are filed in the U.S every year. Many kinds of injuries are commonplace or expected with certain professions. For example, slip and fall accidents happen frequently among construction and factory workers. Car accidents or traffic collisions are likely occurrences for cab and delivery service employees. However, a lot of injuries incurred on duty are unforeseen or utterly bizarre. New York Personal Injury Attorneymentions six workplace accidents that will downright surprise you:

1.    The French Fries Rescue

The manager at a McDonald’s franchise wounded her neck while catching a bag of French fries. She claimed that something popped in her neck, followed by a burning sensation when she bent over to grab the chips before they hit the floor. These kinds of injuries are not usually considered valid for compensation, but the court acknowledged that the manager was under pressure to avoid wastage of food and not keep customers waiting too long. The endeavor caused her to bend, twist, and jerk, which definitely saved the fries, but took toll on her.

2.    The Dog Trip

A woman who worked at a retail-clothing store was using her home’s garage as a storage space for cloth samples. One day she was making her way to the garage to fetch some samples for work when she tripped over her pet dog. The woman broke her wrist and was rewarded with worker’s compensation benefits, despite the fact that her employer had no control over the dog. However, the employer was responsible for allowing or instructing her to store the samples at home, which turned the premises into a workstation. 

3.    Pizza Guy vs. Hobo

A pizza delivery guy had returned after completing some deliveries, when he witnessed his colleagues chasing a hobo out of the pizza shop. He decided to join the chase and punctured a lung during combat with the hobo. The shop owner insisted that the injury occurred outside the workplace boundaries, but the court ruled in favor of the delivery guy as he was hurt during duty.

4.    The Fashion Dilemma

A sales clerk at a fashion jewelry store was wearing some very fancy high heels with zippers. Unfortunately, the zippers got caught together, and resulted in a fall that gave her a broken bone. Workers are typically advised to wear comfortable shoes at work, but apparently there were instructions for ‘dressing well’. Her claim was denied at first, but later she won compensation for her injury.

5.    Unlucky Vending Machine

An employee at Circuit City was trying to get a bag of chips from the vending machine, but it got stuck. A 90-year-old coworker tried to help her redeem the trapped chips, but fractured his hip in the process. He was awarded with worker’s compensation benefits, as he was supposedly helping a colleague seek ‘personal comfort’ at work.

6.    Sledgehammer Bowling

A group of laborers found an abandoned bowling ball in the parking lot where they were working. A couple of them started fooling around with the ball and shortly a challenge for breaking the ball with a sledgehammer emerged. One of the laborers accepted the challenge; the ball shattered on the second blow and a shard flew into his eye. The laborer lost his eye but the employer did not compensate him because his actions defied work ethics and were external to the scope of employment.