A state Supreme Court said that a worker at a marketing and P.R. firm who was injured while playing kickball as part of a team building event is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. The reason for this, said that court, is that participating in the game was part of his job.
The worker, Stephen Wigham, suggested the kickball game while at a meeting with managers. His boss approved the event.
While playing, Wigham shattered his fibula and tibia. He will have to undergo knee replacement surgery.
A lower court denied his claim for benefits. However, the justices at the South Carolina Supreme Court cited testimony from Wigham’s boss, who said that Wigham was expected to take part in the game because he planned the event. (Two of the justices wrote a dissenting opinion noting that they would have upheld the lower court’s ruling to not give Wigham benefits. They said it wasn’t clear to them whether he really was obligated to take part in the game even if he had to be there.) A hearing has been ordered to decide how much in workers’ compensation benefits Wigham is owed for his injury.
In Massachusetts, you should speak with one of our Boston workers’ compensation lawyers to explore your legal options. Although ideally any worker injured on the job should get all benefits owed in a timely manner, this is not always what happens. Disputes can arise.
An injured worker’s claim may even be denied, which can make it challenging to recover and pay for medical expenses, especially if the injuries are so severe that going to work and earning a paycheck becomes impossible. These are just some of the reasons why you want to work with an experienced Massachusetts workers’ compensation law firm that knows how to protect your rights and make sure you get all of your work injury benefits.
Typically, workers cannot sue their employer for Massachusetts personal injury, which makes it even more critical that the compensation benefits are issued. All private employers in the state must carry workers’ compensation insurance and pay workers’ injury claims through self-insurance group membership, self-insurance, or a commercial insurance policy.
At Altman & Altman LLP, we handle all kinds of Boston workers’ comp. cases, including, but not limited to, claims involving work injuries that occurred at the office, construction sites, on the road, or elsewhere. We also handled work-related death benefit claims for families who have lost someone they love in a work accident or because of a work-related disease or some other health issue. Contact us today to request your free case assessment. We can help you explore your legal options.
State court: Workers’ comp OK for kickball injury, AP, August 27, 2014
Massachusetts State Auditor Reviews Workers’ Comp System, Insurance Journal, August 25, 2014
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