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Claimant jumps off a roof; court finds claim compensable.

October 1, 2017
Wilgro Services, Inc. v. WCAB (Mentusky); No. 1932 C.D. 2016; Filed Jun. 28, 2017; Judge McCullough

The Workers’ Compensation Judge granted the claim petition, finding that the claimant was a traveling employee and furthering the employer’s business. The judge further found that the claimant did not intentionally or deliberately attempt to injure himself, was not involved in horseplay when he jumped, did not violate any positive work order, and had not considered jumping from the roof as an appropriate means of getting down at the end of his work day.

The employer appealed to the Appeal Board, which affirmed. On appeal to the Commonwealth Court, the employer argued that the intentional, pre-meditated, deliberate, extreme and high-risk nature of the claimant’s conduct precluded benefits under the Act. The court rejected this argument, agreeing with the Workers’ Compensation Judge and the Board that the claimant was a traveling employee. The court pointed out that, while jumping off a roof was not one of the claimant’s job duties, exiting a worksite was a necessary component of any job and advanced the employer’s business and affairs. While the decision to jump was not advisable, it did not rise to the level of job abandonment, and, therefore, the claim was compensable.


Case Law Alerts, 4th Quarter, October 2017

Case Law Alerts is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to create an attorney-client relationship. Copyright © 2017 Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, all rights reserved. This article may not be reprinted without the express written permission of our firm.

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