In Brooklyn, a McDonald’s Worker was shot in the face. After the incident, the worker was reportedly in critical care as a result of the incident.
The facts of the case are that there was this Worker was in a dispute with a customer inside the restaurant. After the incident, the Worker, for reasons not clear, went outside of the store. There, the dispute continued. It is reported that the customer’s son shot the McDonald’s Worker in the face. Nypost.com
UPDATE: Since this post, there is additional information from a Nypost.com article. It appears that there was an initial dispute concerning cold fries. The customer’s son and the McDonald’s Worker exchanged words in the store and there was a conversation apparently about taking the matter outside. It is reported that the Worker may have gone outside to search for the customer’s son and an incident occurred.
This case will be discussed along the lines of California Law with respect to the issues.
Was This an Industrial Injury for the Purposes of Workers’ Compensation?
While a case may look like it is work-related, in order to get workers’ compensation benefits, an injury must arise out of and be in the course and scope of employment. This requires some analysis.
In this particular case, there are questions that need to be answered. Two matters of important is whether the Worker was the Initial physical aggressor and whether the Applicant deviated from employment.
Given this fact pattern, the reason why the McDonald’s Worker left the store is important. Did the Worker want to get in a fight with the customer? Did the worker initiate physical contact?
The other aspect to consider is whether there was a deviation. Did the employee’s actions remove him from being considered to be in the workplace? With this analysis, the location of the outside incident is of importance. Was it on the McDonald’s premises or off? Was it a mile away from the store? Further, was he on a break, or was he working on the clock when he went outside?
Can A Claim Like This Be Delayed?
Yes. Labor Code Section 5402(b) affords an insurance company 90 days to investigate. In this matter, given the analysis provided above, an insurance company should send an investigator out to obtain witness statements, obtain the video from the store if any, and obtain a copy of the police report. My personal impression is that the additional facts would likely support a finding of industrial injury. Without knowing more, I would think that the incident happened while on premises. The fact that the incident was on the premises would play a large factor in the analysis. [update: If the worker left the work site to have a confrontation, more facts are needed concerning what happened. The location of the confrontation and its nature are important. Further, the reason for the confrontation is important as well.
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.