If an employee is injured on the job, he or she may be able to collect workers’ compensation benefits for the injuries sustained, for medical expenses and for lost wages. However, in order to collect these benefits, the injury must be suffered in the course of employment. Therefore, if an employee is injured after abandoning his post, workers’ compensation benefits cannot be collected because the injury was not suffered in the course of employment. Yet, when an injury is suffered while an employee is working within the scope of employment, a worker can file a claim to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
In July 2010, Franklin Pound was a construction worker at the Sewickley Borough facility in Pennsylvania. While working, he saw a fellow employee fall into a pit at the facility. Pound and two other workers rushed into the pit in an attempt to save the victim, but unfortunately the victim had already died. When Pound climbed back out of the pit, he was overcome by methane gas and passed out. He subsequently fell off of a ladder. The fall resulted in injuries to his left leg, knee, foot, ribs, back and lungs.
According to The Patriot-News, the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board ruled that Pound was due benefits for these work-related injuries. However, Pound’s employer, Pipeline Systems, Inc., and the Continental Western Insurance Company appealed this ruling. They argued that these injuries were not work-related because he was not acting within the scope of his employment when he made the rescue. It was the contention of Pipeline Systems that Pound’s Good Samaritan act was not related to his employment.
However, a Pennsylvania Court has recently ruled that Pound is in fact entitled to collect workers’ compensation benefits because the rescue was employment related. As the judge ruled, Pound was only at the Sewickley facility because Pipeline Systems was in the process of expanding the facility. Therefore, this attempt to aid a fellow worker was not an abandonment of Pound’s employment, but rather in line with his employment duties.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries while on the job or has been denied workers’ compensation benefits by your employer, please call 617-787-3700 now to speak with one of our expert Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyers or email us at email@example.com.