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Court ruling grants injured employee workers' comp benefits

According to an August 11 ruling by the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, Vitas Healthcare Corporation was ordered to pay a past employee workers' compensation benefits for injuries he suffered even though the employee had declared to his manager that he was quitting his job. Information from the court ruling showed that the worker, who was employed at the Miami-based company as a driver technician, quit his job after he had gotten into an argument with his manager regarding his delivery schedule.

In the argument, the worker requested to have stops removed from his driving itinerary so that he would not have to work late. The worker said he was tired because he had worked on-call the prior weekend. When the manager refused to remove the stops, the worker stated he was quitting because of the conditions.

The manager then directed the worker to retrieve his property from the company truck he used. Once the worker removed his belongings from the vehicle, he tripped and fell on a pallet jack on the company's property. According to the report, the manager witnessed the accident in which the worker hurt the left side of his body.

Following the workplace injury, the company refused to offer the worker any medical benefits claiming that he was no longer considered an employee. In 2007, the worker filed a civil suit against the company but later withdrew the suit and filed a workers' compensation claim to cover injuries to his back, left knee and left ankle. After the company appealed several court decisions in favor of the worker, the worker finally won the workers' compensation claim via a ruling by a three-judge appellate court.

When an employer refuses to provide workers' comp benefits to an employee who was injured while working, a workers' compensation attorney may be able to help that employee secure the benefits he or she is entitled to receive. An attorney might help an injured worker file the correct paperwork to start a claim.

Source: Business Insurance, "Injured worker who had just quit wins appeal for workers comp", Sheena Harrison, August 12, 2014

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