How do you determine when someone’s been injured in the course of employment?

Hi, my name is Bob Snyder. I’m a trial lawyer here at Snyder Law Group, and we’re in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. We’re licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We handle all types of injury cases including but not limited to auto accidents, product liability, medical malpractice, and worker’s compensation.

Now what’s so important about this question?

The answer is in order to recover worker’s compensation benefits, you must be able to prove that you have been injured and that the injury has occurred in the course of employment. Now there’s been a lot of dispute in a lot of cases over a lot of years on the issue of course of employment.

Let me tell you about one that I was involved in a long time ago. I never as long as I live will forget it.

The employer was Seagram’s distillery, and they manufactured and distributed liquors. The employee had a job as a goodwill ambassador sales representative in Pennsylvania for the Seagram’s distilleries. His job, and if you can believe it, was this. He would go to a group of bars and buy drinks for the people in the bar, have a conversation with the owner or the bartender, and seek to persuade the bartender and owner to display Seagram’s products in a favorable location compared to that of his competitors. He would also seek to persuade to have them use as a house liquor or the main liquor for making mixed drinks when people would order those the Seagram’s whiskeys and products rather than some other competitor’s products.

Unfortunately, this is the kind of job that carries with it some pretty horrible risks. For example, in this particular case, the man claimed that he was working really hard, and we have no reason to dispute that. He fell off a stool in a bar near the end of the day allegedly having had too much to drink. Now it’s perfectly understandable and conceivable that you could have too much to drink if your job is to have drinks and buy drinks. But when he hit his head, he was blinded for life. He had a question of whether or not he could receive worker’s compensation benefits, and it was an interesting question that went through the worker’s compensation system all the way up to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, which unfortunately said although the job may have been a perfect job for someone who had an alcoholic predisposition. For this particular individual and what happened on that day, he had gone beyond the scope of employment and could not receive benefits.

This is just one twisted, crazy legal case of the thousands that I’ve handled over the years that I’ve been doing personal injury work. Every now and then, I’ll talk about one and tell you there is a lot to be learned, but call a lawyer and ask the question to him at the earliest possible date following injury.

Give us a call at 610-265-8050 and we’ll be glad to answer your questions.