WV: “Good Samaritan” Employee Denied Recovery for Injury Helping Co-Worker

WV: “Good Samaritan” Employee Denied Recovery for Injury Helping Co-Worker

The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia recently affirmed a decision by the state’s Board of Review that had denied workers’ compensation benefits to a secretary who hurt her wrist and shoulder while helping a contract employee of the employer lift a box of maternity clothes that had apparently been returned to the contract employee by another co-worker.  The clothes were not related to the jobs performed by any of the workers and had been left in the secretary’s office for the sake of convenience.  Quoting Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the high court indicated that with regard to injuries that occur while rendering aid to a co-employee, “[i]f the aid takes the form of merely helping the co-employee with some matter entirely personal to the co-employee, it is outside the course of employment, unless the deviation involved is insubstantial.”  The secretary argued that the employer benefitted by having a convivial work environment, where one employee helped another.  The court noted that this was a “marginal case in terms of compensability” and that reasonable minds could certainly differ, but that the court could not simply substitute its judgment for that of the Board of Review. 

Reported by Thomas A. Robinson, J.D.

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

See Morton v. West Va. Office of Ins. Comm’r, 2013 W. Va. LEXIS 1014 (Oct. 4, 2013) [2013 W. Va. LEXIS 1014 (Oct. 4, 2013)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 27.01 [27.01]

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



Special Presale Price $79*; Book ships late October 2013


Keep track of how the workers' comp landscape is changing with this 400+ page compendium. Here's what you get: 

  • A 50 state survey at a glance of workers' comp-related legislation, including selected drug bills, with commentary from 27 defense attorneys, 16 claimant's attorneys, and National expert Thomas A. Robinson, stafff writer for Larson's Workers' Compensation Law
  • In-depth analysis and insight on key issues, including exclusive remedy, medical marijuana, opt outs, Affordable Care Act & much more
  • Larson's Spotlight on interesting cases for 2013, written by Thomas A. Robinson

View the brochure & table of contents.

View sample pages.


Order online or contact Christine Hyatt at  ph. 937-247-8166, or Email: Christine.E.Hyatt@lexisnexis.com.



*Price does not include sales tax, shipping or handling. Price subject to change without notice. Discount cannot be combined with other offers. Expires 12/31/2013.