Workers' Compensation

Arkansas: Employer Fails to Show High School Basketball Injury Was Idiopathic Condition Causing 66-year-old Pharmacist to Fall

In Arkansas, in order for an employee to establish that the injury arose out of and in the course of the employment, the claimant must prove that he or she was “performing employment services” when he or she was injured. In spite of that limiting provision in the state’s case law, an Arkansas appellate court recently affirmed an award of benefits to a staff pharmacist who sustained injuries when he tripped and fell while stepping up onto the curb at his employer’s pharmacy, breaking his leg. The evidence indicated the pharmacist had been called after hours and told to check on the pharmacy because the security alarm had sounded, and the police department had failed to indicate whether the building had actually been breached. The pharmacist drove to the store, waited in his car for a few moments, and then sustained his injuries as he attempted to walk toward the building. The employer contended that the pharmacist, who was 66 years old at the time of his injury, had an idiopathic condition—a weakened right knee from a high schoolbasketball injury [emphasis added] and that the pre-existing condition must have caused the fall. The court disagreed, finding that substantial evidence supported the Commission's determination that the pharmacist was injured while performing employment services.

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

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Kroger v. Bess, 2018 Ark. App. 404, 2018 Ark. App. LEXIS 503 (Sept. 12, 2018)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 3.01.

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