Friday, April 3, 2009

Single work shift requirement derails Accident claim

The case of Henry v Precision Aparatus, DOLIR 4-1-09 denied benefits in part based on a definition of accident requiring an event within a "single work shift" noting that claimant had never clocked in to satisfy the requirement of "shift" under strict construction of the Act

Judge Fischer noted claimant arrived work 15-20 minutes early and helped a co-worker change a tire before he clocked in. The administrative law judge cited 287.020 and made two findings: Mr. Henry’s accident arose prior to the inception of his work shift at a time when he was volunteering his assistance to a friend engaged in personal vehicle repair and sustained injuries while moving a rock. While the case could be independently denied that the accident on premises did not arise out of employment because it was a personal task, the citation to .020 adds teeth to new accident language and the course of employment prong of accident. Such a strict interpretation could open the door to premises liability claims when claimants are off the clock.

Notice of appeal was filed with the Southern District on 4-29-09. The case is SD 29772.