I look at events through the lens of a worker’s compensation lawyer. When I read headlines indicating “Disgruntled Employee Shoots Supervisor” or “Mad Man Shoots Sikhs” which have recently captured the headlines in Milwaukee, I read them through the filter of 35 years as a worker’s compensation attorney representing injured workers. My heart goes out to the family of the supervisor shot by an employee apparently upset by his working conditions. The worker’s comp lawyer in me reviews the headlines, asking a few relevant questions (to myself):
- Was this death in the course and scope of employment?
- Was it a purely personal assault (bearing no relation to the individual’s employment status or location)?
- Does this death trigger the “arising out of” coverage based on the doctrine of “positional risk”?
For the senseless murder of worshippers at a Sihk temple in Milwaukee, I ask similar questions:
- Were those who were murdered working at the time of the injury as devotees ( paid or volunteers)?
- Are their families entitled to a worker’s compensation death benefit?
The courts have indicated the theory or doctrine of “positional risk” applies to Continue reading