Brief Fact Summary. Clodgo (Plaintiff) was hurt while involved in horseplay at work. Plaintiff sought an award of workers’ compensation.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. An accident occurs in the course of employment when it was within the period of time the employee was on duty at a place where the employee was reasonably expected to by while fulfilling the duties of the employment contract.
Issue. Did Plaintiff’s horseplay bar him from recovery for the resulting injury under Vermont’s Workers’ Compensation Act?
Held. Yes. Judgment reversed.
* Plaintiff was injured during work hours with a staple gun provided for use on the job, and thus the findings support a causal connection between claimants work conditions and the injury adequate to conclude that the accident arose out of his employment.
* Nonetheless, Plaintiff must also show that the injury occurred in the course of employment. An accident occurs in the course of employment when it was within the period of time the employee was on duty at a place when the employee was reasonably expected to by while fulfilling the duties of the employment contract.
* These facts show that the accident was unrelated to any legitimate use of the staplers at the time indicating that there was no commingling of the horseplay with work duties. Although some horseplay was reasonably to be expected during idle periods between customers, the obvious dangerousness of shooting staples at fellow employees and the absence of the connection between duties as a salesperson and the horseplay events indicates the accident occurred during a substantial deviation from work duties.
However, we will not affirm an interpretation that is unjust or unreasonable.View Full Point of Law