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Workers' Compensation

Virginia: Brown Recluse Spider Bite Found Compensable

A claimant’s testimony that she had seen several spiders near her desk before she felt a bite on her foot, along with her identification of the particular species — emergency room staff where she sought treatment showed her a number of photos of various types of spiders — coupled further with other evidence that construction work in a boiler room area beneath the claimant’s office may have disturbed insects and spiders, causing them to move to other parts of the claimant’s building, were sufficient to support a finding by the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission that the claimant had sustained an accidental injury arising out of and in the course of the employment. Acknowledging that there was, of course, some risk in encountering spiders in one’s ordinary life, the court said the claimant had shown sufficiently that she faced an “actual risk” of the bite, based on all the attenuating circumstances at her workplace.

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 James Madison Univ. v. Housden, 2020 Va. App. LEXIS 63 (Mar. 10, 2020)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 5.06.

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

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see

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