The Commission affirms an award for an avulsion fracture when claimant’s foot slipped while shooting hoops during a paid break. The Commission disavowed comments about the mutual benefit doctrine and found the accident arose from an identifiable risk (non-slip shoes) not encountered in non-occupational life (wearing such shoes while shooting hoops away from the job). The statutory exclusion for recreational activities did not apply because claimant was “on the clock.” The ALJ applied the mutual benefit doctrine which noted the employees were shooting hoops, building morale, and not "gambling, gossiping or grumbling against Employer."
The ALJ discusses 2005 statutory changes which abolished the phrase "work related injury" and notes the definition of accident contains a "carry over" from the original language and does not establish a separate test to establish accident.
The ALJ noted the statutory exclusion for recreational activities excluded payment "while" participating, but did not require payment "for" participating, citing Miles v Lear Corporation, 259 SW3d 64 (Mo. App. 2008). The Commission found that Miles, a pre-reform case, remained controlling authority.
GRUENDER V CURATORS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI,
No. 14-043810 (August 18, 2017)
Atty: Christianson, Fowler, Woodbury
Experts: Volarich, Komes