The workers’ compensation system in Pennsylvania is complex with many nuances. For that simple reason alone one should hire an attorney. Today a debate took place among several Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation lawyers regarding the following scenario:
A gentleman is employed as a security guard by a security company (employer) and is assigned to a work site not owned, nor operated by the employer. While on rounds he gets light headed, dizzy and falls. His fall (not clear if he fainted) has nothing to do with his job. It may even turn out he had a cold or flu or even some preexisting condition that caused him to get dizzy. But whatever caused his dizziness would not have prevented him from working other than a few minutes until his dizziness went away. However, as a result, he falls onto the concrete-owned and maintained by the companies property on which he was making rounds. He was on their property making rounds not on his employers property. Unfortunately he suffers a significant traumatic head injury.
The workers’ compensation insurance company has denied paying workers compensation benefits saying his injuries are not work related and not arising in the course of employment or related thereto. The company on whose property he fell is denying it’s their responsibility since he wasn’t their employee-that’s why they hired the security company-and the security company has workers’ compensation coverage for these things.
If you represent the injured worker it should be covered. He was working. He fell and got hurt at work. No different than if he tripped over his own two feet. He had to be there, at that particular time, on that particular day because his job called for it. And even though the property wasn’t owned or operated by his employer it’s as if it were the employer’s property as he had to be there by reason and direction of his job and employer.
However, if you are representing the insurance company, those attorneys are advising their clients that the injured worker’s passing out had nothing to do with work, was not on his employers premises and shouldn’t be paid.
Ultimately the case will have to be decided by a workers’ compensation judge. The case could be in litigation for quite some time all the while the worker and his family is without money to feed and support themselves, and without money to get the medical treatment he so badly needs to get better and go back to work.
Obviously, we represent injury victims and their families. In my opinion it will be determined to be work related, but clearly opposing counsel (insurance companies attorneys) disagree with me.
What do you think? If something similar has happened to you, or you have other questions about workers’ compensation, call Dugan & Associates today for a free consultation at 888-99-DUGAN.