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In a Miami Aquarium, a Dolphin, “Sundance,” attacked his trainer.  It was reported that the dolphin repeatedly struck the trainer and tried to pull  the trainer down into the water.  Apparently, the altercation may have been caused when the trainer had accidentally scratched the dolphin.  After the attack, the visibly shaken trainer was taken by ambulance to a local hospital.

This article will discuss the legal issues of this incident within the California Workers’ Compensation System.

If the Trainer Accidentally Scratched the Dolphin and This Caused the Dolphin to Attack Him, Does This Bar The Trainer From Pursuing A Workers’ Compensation Claim?  

No.  Workers’ Compensation is a “no fault” system.  Thus, an employee’s accidental contact causing an injury would not be a bar.

Does Applicant’s Animal Trainer Position Impact Their Compensation?

Yes.  Permanent Disability assessment includes an injured worker’s employment class.  This is called an Occupational Group Code.  A job’s physical arduousness can increase the permanent disability.  Per the Rating Manual, an Animal Trainer’s group number is 390.  Since Animal Trainer’s job can be quite physical, there is a likelihood that they will received a higher rating for certain body parts versus an injured worker with a less arduous job. For example, a secretary’s occupational adjustment would not be as good as an Animal Trainer.

What If I Need Advice?

If you would like a free consultation regarding workers’ compensation, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. We have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their workers’ compensation cases for 27 years. Contact us today for more information.

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