The state’s highest court ruled that a Peabody High School teacher is entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits for injuries she sustained while voluntarily chaperoning a school ski trip. The teacher sought workers’ comp coverage for her medical expenses following a 2004 injury on a ski trip to Vermont. Her employer denied that request, saying her injury occurred while the teacher participated in a voluntary recreational activity.
While two administrative judges uphold the denial of benefits, the state Department of Industrial Accidents and Massachusetts’ highest court awarded the teacher her workers’ compensation benefits on appeal. The judge concluded that a teacher who acts as a volunteer chaperone to students participating in a school-sponsored activity “is acting in the course of her employment” and in her capacity as a teacher, because she was overseeing the well being of students.
The injured teacher’s attorney said his client used sick time for surgeries and physical therapy, so she filed the claim to recover sick time and any co-payments not covered by her medical insurance.
Source: Massachusetts Court Upholds Workers’ Compensation for Teacher On School Trip, ClaimsJournal.com, December 15, 2009
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