5 Crazy Workers' Compensation Cases


Workers’ compensation exists to protect people from the financial consequences of getting hurt on the job. In order to qualify for workers’ compensation, there are three criteria that have to be met: the company you work for must carry workers’ compensation insurance, you must be an employee of the company, and your injury or illness must be related to your job duties. Most workers’ compensation claims are straightforward, but others are so crazy it’s hard to believe they actually happened. Here are five crazy workers’ compensation cases that will make your jaw drop.

  1. In 2009, a Circuit City employee helped a co-worker retrieve a stuck bag of chips from a vending machine and broke his hip in the process. The employee underwent surgery the same day and filed a workers’ compensation claim. The court ruled in the employee’s favor because he became injured at work while helping a co-worker.

  2. An Oregon woman who worked as a decorator for J.C. Penney tripped over her dog while retrieving some fabric samples she stored in her garage. She broke her wrist and filed a workers’ compensation claim to collect benefits. Because she spent the majority of her workday outside of her studio, the court ruled that her home was technically her work environment and she was awarded compensation for her injury.

  3. A Mississippi casino employee was traveling home from an Alabama bingo parlor when her car struck a 400-pound wild hog. She claimed she was doing market research of a competing facility as part of her job duties, but her employer suggested the outing was personal. Ultimately, the employee was awarded workers’ compensation benefits for her injuries, as the employer admitted that Alabama bingo halls were a potential threat to the business.

  4. A California employee filed for workers’ compensation after her employer’s district quality control manager planned and carried out a mock robbery. The man wore a ski mask and slammed a paper bag on the counter with a handwritten note that said, “I have a gun. Put your money in the bag.” When the man left, the employee began shaking and crying hysterically. The court ruled that there was enough evidence to support the jury’s finding that she was assaulted and sustained emotional distress as a result of the incident.

  5. An Arby’s employee mistakenly drank from the wrong cup on her lunch break and suffered third-degree burns to her esophagus. The cup contained lye, or sodium hydroxide, which is a chemical made from salt. Lye looks like water once it has been dissolved in water, and it can burn holes in clothes and leave burn marks on skin. The employer did not dispute the injured employee’s workers’ compensation claim and she began receiving payments shortly after the incident.

No matter how you got hurt, we’ll defend your rights to workers’ compensation

If you’ve ever been hurt in a workplace accident, you know that getting injured is no laughing matter. While the cases above are certainly unusual, the injuries actually happened and impacted the lives of the individuals involved. When you become injured or ill as a result of your job duties, you’ll want to work with an attorney who will defend your rights to compensation – no matter what the circumstances. At the Law Office of Gerald Brody & Associates, our attorneys have handled all types of workers’ compensation cases, from straightforward claims to complex and even bizarre scenarios. No matter what caused your injury, we’ll fight hard to ensure you receive the benefits you’re entitled to. Call us today at (619) 528-9800 to schedule your free consultation.