FIREFIGHTER INJURED PLAYING BASKETBALL AT WORK IS ENTITLED TO WORKER’S COMPENSATION
Recently, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals found that an on-duty firefighter injured while playing basketball near the firehouse is entitled to worker’s compensation benefits.
The firefighter injured his bicep while playing basketball with fellow firefighters and the injury kept him out of work for nearly four months. When the firefighter applied for worker’s compensation benefits, the City denied his claim arguing that the injury did not arise out of his employment or while performing services incidental to employment. The firefighter appealed the denial of benefits to a commission and the commission determined that the firefighter was entitled to benefits because the job demanded fitness activity while on active duty.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision in City of Kenosha v. LIRC, 2010AP883 (March 16, 2011). The Court of Appeals found that a “well-being activity exclusion” did not bar the firefighter’s worker’s compensation claim. This exclusion would normally act as a bar for a person to receive worker’s compensation benefits. However, the Court of Appeals ruled that the exclusion did not apply to this particular case because the firefighter was being compensated at the fire station at the time of his injury. The Court noted that the fire department encouraged firefighters to engage in physical fitness activities while on duty while standing ready to fight fires to hopefully avoid being injured while fighting a fire.
Our office can assist you with receiving the worker’s compensation benefits that you are entitled to. If you believe that you are entitled to receive worker’s compensation benefits as a result of an injury that occurs while you are at work, contact Dave Daul to set up an appointment.