The outcome of an appeal against the rejection of an application for workers’ compensation by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals was reported on the website of the Lexington (Kentucky) Herald-Leader of 2 August 2013.
The plaintiff was employed as a longshoreman (stevedore) by the defendant. On 8 January 2006, while intoxicated at work, he fell over a railing while attempting to urinate and dropped six-feet onto a concrete surface, suffering injury.
A workers compensation claim was lodged and rejected by his employer, which took the position that intoxication had caused his injury.
The rejection was the subject of proceedings in Oregon’s Benefits Review Board and a court of administrative law.
The plaintiff’s provided inconsistent histories of the incident, in which the origin of a claim that he had tripped over part of his employer’s equipment, was initially given as his own memory and then as information from other workers.
The rejection of his claim was confirmed. An initial appeal to the US District Court was rejected.
The plaintiff appealed to the Circuit Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. On appeal the worker raised the additional argument that his injuries were caused by the concrete onto which he fell and not by drunkenness. This argument did not impress the Court, which took the view that if intoxication caused the fall, it also caused the injuries.
The plaintiff’s appeal was rejected.
Hat-tip to journalist Nigel Duara (Twitter @nigelduara) whose report provided the material for this casenote.