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A hospital nurse’s unexplained fall while walking to lunch in a level, unobstructed hospital tunnel was compensable, held the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia in a memorandum decision. The Court’s decision follows that of the majority of American jurisdictions. Here, there was no question that the injury occurred in the course of the nurse’s employment. She was, after all, on her employer’s premises when it happened. Even though she was walking to lunch, her fall would have generally come within the personal comfort doctrine. The difficulty here is that the Court, like courts in other jurisdictions, offered little to indicate the injury actually arose from a risk of the employment. This decision repeats the general rule that when it comes to unexplained falls, many states employ what amounts to as a positional risk theory.
Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the co-Editor-in-Chief and 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 American Med. Facilities Mgmt. v. Parsons, 2021 W. Va. LEXIS 212 (Apr. 23, 2021)
See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 7.04.
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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