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Virginia: Police Body Camera Dooms Officer’s Slip and Fall Claim

October 20, 2016 (1 min read)

A Virginia police officer was appropriately denied workers’ compensation benefits for an injury he sustained when he slipped on a stairway while investigating a potential burglary at a private residence. The appeals court, following Virginia’s “actual risk” rule, indicated that an employee who trips on a staircase at work could not recover compensation unless something about the steps (or some other condition of the workplace) presented a hazard or danger peculiar to the worksite. If there is nothing unusual or wrong with the steps, an employee who trips over them cannot show the accident arose out of" the employment. Here the officer’s body camera showed there was nothing unusual about the residential carpeted stairs. The officer also testified that he was unaware of any hazard on the stairs.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Echevarria v. City of Chesapeake, 2016 Va. App. LEXIS 269 (Oct. 18, 2016)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, §§ 3.04, 43.03.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law