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Workers’ comp can cover on-the-job fights

by on
in Human Resources

Robert LeeGrand, an African-American brick mason's assistant, got mad when a co-worker criticized his work and made a racist remark. When LeeGrand confronted him, the co-worker threw bricks, which caused LeeGrand to fall off 12-foot-high scaffolding. The injured worker filed for workers' comp. A trial court denied the claim, but the Tennessee Supreme Court awarded workers' comp. It said that although the fight had started because of the racial slur, the fact that it had escalated from a work dispute was enough of an "inherent connection" to the worker's employment to make his injuries compensable. (LeeGrand v. Trinity Universal Insurance, Tenn., No. W2000-02664-SC-WCM-CV, 2002)

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