Firefighter Vs. Employer/ Carrier
BC &F recently successfully litigated a controverted case involving the death of a
lifelong firefighter. The decedent had finished a 38 hour shift and felt ill towards the end of the shift. He ended his shift and went home. A short time later, his wife found him, unresponsive. Subsequently, his wife filed a claim for Workers’ Compensation death benefits. The employer and carrier controverted this claim alleging that the death was unrelated to the decedents work activity. The case went to trial and the widow and the employer’s lay witnesses testified along with several medical experts. Following extensive litigation, the Law Judge determined that the decedent’s death was causally related to his job activities. The carrier/employer appealed, and our office filed a rebuttal. The result – the decedent’s widow was justly awarded death benefits for the rest of her life.
24 DEC 2014
Lunch-break Accident Case Decision Overturned
Recently BC&F had a decision overturned where the Law Judge initially denied benefits of a union worker who was injured during their lunch break. The general rules [governing the compensability of an injury sustained while going to and from work] are ordinarily applied to the situation where an injury occurs to an employee who is leaving to or returning from their lunch break. Inside employees who have a fixed period of time for lunch are generally not considered to be in the course of their employment while they are off the employer’s premises for purposes of a lunch break. However, on Appeal BC&F was able to differentiate the general rule and convince the Board that this was a circumstances of whether an off-premises lunch break injury was compensable. In those situations the courts have stated that the issue is whether or not at the time of the accident the employment relationship is terminated or suspended. We successfully argued that the relationship was not in fact terminated and the injured worker was awarded benefits.