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Representing Injured Workers Since 1955

California practical joke victim gets workers compensation

Some people like to play practical jokes on co-workers in the workplace. When harmless pranks are inflicted at the office or in the service industry, they can lighten the mood and give everyone a big laugh. However, well-intentioned fun has the possibility of backfiring; the joke can go too far and cause a workplace injury. In such case, the joke is no longer funny. Instead, the victim may have to receive medical care, take time off to heal, and file a workers’ compensation claim to make up for lost wages.

A waiter at a pizza restaurant in California was able to recover workers’ compensation benefits after his hands were severely burned. The man’s workplace injury occurred when a pizza cook heated a pan to be carried by the waiter as a practical joke. Indeed, the restaurant workers regularly engaged in horseplay and pranks on each other. In this case, the waiter picked up the pizza pan with his bare hands expecting it to be its normal, cool temperature. The other employees initially laughed when they saw him drop the scalding pan and scream from the pain. However, the situation was no laughing manner. The man’s burn injuries are expected to be permanent.

When one worker assaults another during the performance of work-related duties, it can be best for the victim to make an appointment with an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation and other work-related claims. It may be possible to collect benefits to cover medical expenses, rehabilitation, lost wages, and other expenses incurred due to the workplace injury.

Source: Risk and Insurance, “Waiter's remedy for burn lies in workers' compensation,” Aug. 30, 2013

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