Sunday, January 27, 2008

Injury Resulting from Horseplay Generally Compensable

In Sysco Food Services of Phila v. WCAB (Sebastiano) the Claimant was injured engaging in horseplay. While the question of whether the Claimant was an innocent victim remained unresolved in the mind of the Commonwealth Court, the Court noted the Claimant was in his regular work area and his actions, even if viewed in their worst light, were not so disconnected with his regular work duties for the Claimant to be considered, with respect to the employer, nothing more than a "stranger" or "trespasser."

The Court distinguished Johnson v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Union Camp Corp.), 749 A.2d 1048 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2000) in which the Claimant got in a fight after leaving his work area to talk with another employee about a non work-related matter. The Court also cited Judge Torrey’s treatise for the premise that violation of a work rule stating there is "no horseplay" will not make otherwise compensable horseplay injuries non-compensable.

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