Law Office of James M. Hoffmann Articles Here Are Some of The Strangest Approved Workers Comp Claims

Here Are Some of The Strangest Approved Workers Comp Claims

By James Hoffmann  Mar. 30, 2020 7:46a

Worker's compensation laws are designed to help injured workers get treatment, take time off work to recover, and provide some financial support if they’ve sustained an injury at work.

Like most laws, they come attached with clear regulations as to how they may be applied in practice. For instance, Missouri famously does not cover injuries that have taken place on a worker’s way to and from the place of employment; the commute is not part of work activity, therefore the laws do not apply.

But in some cases, a creative interpretation of the law, or a detail that nobody saw coming could potentially make even the strangest workers comp claim valid and, therefore, approved. Here are 3 examples of bizarre workers comp cases that got approved.


1. A Snack Attack in Illinois

An employee at Circuit City helped a co-worker get a bag of chips that had been stuck in the vending machine at work, and in the process fractured his hip. The machine itself had had similar issues in the past, with other co-workers noting that snacks get routinely stuck in the spindles.


The employee, after shaking the machine twice, decided to apply more force and use his shoulder to get the bag out, and injured his hip in the process. He filed for compensation and City Circuit tried to fight it, but a judge decided the claim was valid.


2. Woman Trips Over Dog at Home

A woman in Oregon tripped over her dog while working in her garage and fractured her wrist. She applied for worker's compensation, as she was employed by J.C. Penny as a decorator. At first, her claim got rejected, but her lawyer managed to argue that her garage constituted her office, which technically means the injury is work-related. The woman was not an independent contractor but employed by the clothing company, which also helped win her case.


3. The $8.9 Million Settlement

Usually, these settlements don’t result in this much money. They’re calculated to cover treatment costs and a few other things, but that’s roughly it. Which is why this particular case is so interesting and bizarre. A California worker fell from a 20-foot scaffold while painting, and suffered severe injuries to the head and body.

This was 18 years old at the time, which means his expected lifetime required long medical care. He is also unable to work, which also increased the settlement amount as it was factored in as well. This is one of the highest numbers in the history of workers comp settlements.

Do you have a workers' comp case? Get in touch with an experienced St. Louis worker’s compensation lawyer right now to see what your legal options are. Even if your case seems very black and white, you should still get an expert opinion. Call (314) 361-4300 for a FREE consultation.

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