Workers' Compensation

Holiday Roundup…… And a Fall From a Keg in Delaware

The above depicts what has evolved into the annual Workers’ Compensation Holiday Beer Swap.  Not sure if Dr. John Townsend was in attendance last night, but I have it on good authority that when he participates, there is at least one case of wicked good and wildly expensive beer involved.  Way to be persuasive, Doc!

So I spent last weekend going through some (fairly) recent case law that was lost in my car for a while (that happens a lot)…..  The first case under scrutiny I included simply because it involved a bar and a keg injury.  Hence it fits into the whole beer swap theme.  Leslie Immell v Smitty McGee’s Raw Bar, IAB#1384571 (8/29/14) involved a fall from a keg and admitted injuries to the ankle and left 5th metatarsal.  Claimant later sough to add the low back, left hip and sciatic nerve.  Claimant prevails, based on the opinion of Dr. Spinuzza.   Good job, Leroy Tice!  Moral of the story from my perspective—stay away from kegs (and like you would ever find me in a place called Smitty McGee’s Raw bar).

We then move on to a jurisdictional ditty featuring Walt Schmittinger and Wade Adams.  Stephen Bachman v. Grus Construction, IAB#1407955 (8/6/14)  which as near as I can tell stands for the proposition that for a work accident in Virginia involving a Florida and California based company, Delaware jurisdiction is not conferred simply because claimant applied to the job online from his Delaware residence.  Nice discussion of Section 2303(a) and (d) and the concept of employment “principally localized.”

Next we have my personal favorite.  Stephen Burnett v. Perdue Farms, IAB#1353516 (8/1/14)(ORDER) is one of those very special “Motion Day” outcomes.  Simply stated, the Board granted the defense Motion to Compel Dr. Lee Osterman to be deposed other than at 9:00 p.m. at night.  Seriously?  You have to feel bad for both James Donovan and Amy Taylor who were caught in the middle of this salute to arrogance.  The defense was willing to participate in a 7:00 p.m. deposition and the doc said “no can do”, and in granting the defense Motion, the Board also threatens to have the doctor’s provider certification revoked and to report him to the governing medical board for further action.  Matt Fogg and I had a case with Dr. Osterman that recently settled and I’m thinking I’m mighty glad to have been spared that drama.  I would, however, enjoy the opportunity to blog about a provider having their certification revoked.  Now that would be newsworthy!

Finally, we end the week with Rene Saravia v. Cloudburst, IAB#1408076 (7/16/14)(ORDER) and our friends Brian Legum and Andrew Lukashunas combatting an issue of course and scope.  Give this round to “Lucky” Lukashunas as the Board rules that a trip and fall in the shoulder of a public roadway near the premises is still outside course and scope under the “premises rule” in what it terms a “bright line “ and literal application of the rule.  The long and short of it was that the accident occurred “off the premises.”

So I wish you all the merriment and joy of the season and a weekend full of holiday shopping for those who covet trips to the mall.  Now that the Holiday Beer Swap is behind us, we can look forward to next Friday’s Wonderful Women of Comp Cookie Exchange. 

Irreverently yours,



 Visit Delaware Detour & Frolic, a law blog by Cassandra Roberts


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