MO: Hunting Trip Accident Denied Under Mutual Benefit Doctrine

Claimant failed to prove benefits under the mutual benefit or dual purpose doctrine when he flipped his truck on a country road at 5:45 a.m. on a Saturday morning.   Claimant was found in camouflage with a deer rifle in his truck.   The Commission reversed an award of permanent and total benefits to the 30 year old claimant, who had catastrophic injuries that required 24-hour custodian care and resulted in medical bills from the 2008 injury of $965,399. 

 

The case is Ricky Wilson, Jr. v Ricky Wilson Jr., DOLIR 3-3-11.  Claimant owned a company that installed motor homes.  The Commission held claimant failed to prove any substantive benefit under the mutual benefit doctrine at the time of the accident.  The administrative law judge found claimant could have been checking routes and possible obstructions.  Claimant had a business meeting to discuss moving some mobile homes later the same morning.  The Commission, however, rejected benefits under the dual purpose doctrine because at the time of the accident claimant had deviated from the route of the business meeting to go hunting, and would not have been at the location of the accident at the time it occurred but for the hunting trip.  Claimant was unable to testify about the purpose of the trip.

 

The administrative law judge awarded medical treatment, including home and van modifications including psychiatric and nursing care.  The medical providers submitted bills through Medicaid.   

 

Source: Martin Klug, Huck, Howe & Tobin. Read Martin Klug’s Mo. Workers’ Comp Alerts.

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