Baseball Usher Punched Out at Game: Injured Workers In The News #65

Baseball Pitchers will often “punch out” batters with a “strike.”  At a recent Major League Baseball Game, however, it was two Ushers getting punched out.  It wasn’t the opposing team’s pitcher doing it. Rather, it was an unruly Fan.  Besides being struck, one Usher was also bitten.

The fight allegedly started because a customer was reportedly upset over a seating dispute.  After the fight, blood was reported dripping off an individual’s face.

This post will discuss the both the biting injury as well as the unique wage issue that this case involves.

Should the Bodily Injury In This Matter Be A Concern? 

Yes.  From the facts, there may have been the transfer of bodily fluids.  There are a variety of diseases that can be transferred via bodily fluids.  Two diseases that are blood borne are hepatitis and hiv. Therefore, an Injured Worker being exposed to bodily fluids should get treated immediately. Testing and prophylactic medical care should be made available at the employer’s expense.

If Baseball Season Was Ending, Are the Ushers Able To Collect Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Yes and No.  This issue is complicated. In California, there are laws that address workers’ compensation benefits for seasonal workers.  “Seasonal Employees” are treated different from other employees.  Thus, employees who could be considered seasonal should do an analysis of their wage.  There are questions such as whether the seasonal workers had other jobs during both the season and during the off season.  This information can be used to calculate the worker’s average weekly wage and the workers intent and ability to work in the off season.

In California, the Court of Appeals noted “[w]here, however, an employee does not have any off-season earnings and does not compete in the open labor market during a portion of the year, the employee is not entitled to temporary disability payments during that season. We do not express any opinion in calculating a season employee’s off-season temporary disability where the employee maintains some level of off-season earnings below the minimum average weekly earnings rate.” Signature Fruit Co. v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Bd., 71 Cal. Comp. Cases 1044 (Cal. App. 5th Dist. August 31, 2006)

In sum, Seasonal Employees compensation determinations are complex and require careful analysis.

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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