WAS AN AMAZON EMPLOYEE FATALITY AN INDUSTRIAL EVENT? INJURED WORKERS IN THE NEWS #2

An Amazon Worker in New York City was fatally struck.  It was reported that they were hit by an unlicensed driver who was a co-worker.  At the time of the accident, the 24 year-old Amazon Worker was crossing a street at 11:30pm outside of the the Amazon Fulfillment Center.  The worker was brought to the hospital but did not survive. nypost.com 

Workers’ Compensation requires that an accident, to be compensable, be one that “arises out of and is in the course and scope of employment.”  Benefits will only be paid if it is legally recognized as industrial.  The tragic story from New York illustrates an instance where the injury is not disputed.  The Worker’s activity, at the time of the injury, however is questionable as to whether it should be considered as work-related.

Was This a Work-Related Event?

The answer is maybe. An in-depth factual analysis is necessary.

Was the  Amazon Worker leaving work for the day?

Was the Amazon Worker going on a break?

Was the Amazon Worker on the clock?

Where was the Amazon Worker going?

Was the street being crossed dangerous?

Was the street considered part of the facility?

For the purposes of this question, the following facts will be assumed:  the worker had finished work and was exiting to obtain transportation home.   With these facts, the one issue of import was the time of day she was crossing the street.  Likewise, the nature of the street is of import.

While “going and coming” from work can bar a workers’ compensation claim, there are exceptions to the rule.  one exception is the “zone of danger” or the “field of risk” rule.  thus,  if a worker’s travel puts them in a “zone of danger” or “field of risk” to get to or leave the employer’s facility, the claim may be considered industrial.

In this matter, there may be compelling facts to find the injury industrial.  Crossing a street at a late hour when it was dark may provide solid evidence to lead a trier of fact to find that the “zone of danger” or “field of risk” exception applies.

What If I Need Legal Advice?

If you would like a free consultation concerning any workers’ compensation case, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. They have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their worker’s compensation cases for 28 years. Contact us today for more information.

 

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