The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently ruled that a liquor store manager who was robbed at work should receive Workers’ Compensation benefits.
When workers in Pennsylvania incur an injury while performing their duties, they may be entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits. This compensation for their injuries may include medical benefits, specific loss benefits and temporary disability payments. However, in some situations, employees may be denied these benefits if their injuries are to be expected from the particular industry they work in.
In April of 2008, a liquor store manager in Pennsylvania was robbed at work, states The Morning Call. The masked robber put a gun to the back of the manager’s head and then taped him to a chair. This robbery was the first one the man had experienced in his 30 years working in that position.
As a result of the robbery, the man was unable to return to work and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. Additionally, TribLive states that images of the robbery harmed his sleep, caused him to experience anxiety and affected his relationships with family members. He also had to begin receiving Social Security disability benefits.
Although the store manager incurred an employment-related injury, TribLive states that his Workers’ Compensation claim was originally denied because the robbery was considered a normal part of working in a liquor store. To back up this verdict, the liquor board noted that there were nearly 100 robberies at liquor stores in the Philadelphia area between 2002 and 2008. The man eventually appealed this decision to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. During this process, the court came to a conclusion on a different case that impacted the man’s situation.
According to The Morning Call, this particular case involved a law enforcement official who was traumatized after a woman committed suicide by running in the front of his patrol car. The police force argued that the official should not receive Workers’ Compensation benefits because handling suicides, dead bodies and car accidents are all normal working conditions.
However, the court decided that this suicide situation was unusual and that during each Workers’ Compensation case, officials should pay attention to the specific details surrounding the claim. This should be done before the ‘normal working conditions’ rule applies. As a result of this decision, the liquor store manager was retroactively awarded Workers’ Compensation benefits.
Injured workers in Pennsylvania who discover that their claim for Workers’ Compensation benefits was denied may worry about how their condition will affect their finances and ability to work. If your claim for benefits was not upheld, contact a Workers’ Compensation lawyer in Philadelphia to determine what steps you should take next. Call the law offices of Jeffrey S. Gross at 215-512-1500 or contact us online.