Mississippi: Cocaine Use Three Days Prior to Fall Dooms Trucker’s Claim

Mississippi: Cocaine Use Three Days Prior to Fall Dooms Trucker’s Claim

A Mississippi appellate court affirmed a finding by the state’s Workers’ Compensation Commission that a truck driver’s intoxication proximately caused his injuries and, thereby, disqualified him from receiving benefits.  The driver exited his truck, fell, and was injured.  He received medical attention at a nearby hospital shortly after the accident where a urinalysis revealed cocaine in his system.  He admitted to having been addicted to cocaine in the past, but stated that he had not consistently used cocaine in some time. However, he also admitted that he had relapsed about two weeks prior to the accident and had used crack cocaine at a party. Testimony from others at the time of the accident indicated that the driver appeared “out of it.”  A pharmacology and toxicology expert testified that based on the urinalysis at the hospital, the driver must have used cocaine within two to three days prior to the accident and that the residual effects of the driver's crack-cocaine usage prior to the incident likely caused his fatigue and disorientation, thus contributing to the fall.  Given the evidence, the appellate court found no error.

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 lexis.com.

See Walker v. Williams Transp., LLC, 2014 Miss. App. LEXIS 278 (May 20, 2014) [2014 Miss. App. LEXIS 278 (May 20, 2014)]

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

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

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