Workers' Compensation

Nebraska: Bartender’s Fall After Consuming Multiple Shots Dooms Comp Claim

A Nebraska appellate court recently affirmed the dismissal of an employee’s claim for benefits based on a finding that the employee was intoxicated at the time of his accident and that his intoxication was a proximate cause of the accident and resulting injuries.  The employee worked at a sports pub, sometimes in the kitchen, sometimes in the bar.  One evening, while he helped customers and his co-workers, he consumed a number of shots—perhaps as many as five.  He was injured in a fall and taken to the hospital, where his blood alcohol level was 0.221.  A medical expert testified that a person with that much alcohol in his system might exhibit a host of behaviors, including loss of critical judgment, impairment of perception, memory and comprehension, impaired balance, and impairment of swallowing sufficient to cause choking.  In the employee’s claim, he contended that he choked on a piece of food that caused him to fall, hit his head, and break his tailbone.  The appellate court held that all this was sufficient to support a finding that the employee was intoxicated at the time of his fall and that the fall was caused by his intoxication.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is a leading commentator and expert on the law of workers’ compensation.

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. Bracketed citations link to

See Kamarad v. DRK, Inc., 2014 Neb. App. LEXIS 37 (Feb. 4, 2014) [2014 Neb. App. LEXIS 37 (Feb. 4, 2014)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 36.03 [36.03]

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

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