Workers' Comp Denied to Friendly Oil Manager
(CN) - Because she had already said good-bye to the customer before she jumped off a loading dock and broke her leg, an oil manager cannot collect workers' compensation, an Arkansas appeals court ruled.
While working as a bulk-plant manager for Frost Oil Co. in May 2012, Carolyn Kirshberger had a visit from a personal friend and customer named Ann Greenhill.
Greenhill made a purchase in 10 minutes and then spoke with Kirshberger about personal matters for more than an hour.
Kirshberger said she was hurt after walking out to the loading dock to say goodbye to Greenhill and thank her for her business.
A videotape showed that the ladies had already hugged and kissed good-bye in the bulk-plant office, however, and another videotape showed Kirshberger jumping off the loading dock while Greenhill was leaving.
The administrative law judge ruled that Kirshberger's injury was compensable, but the Workers' Compensation Commission disagreed and said she caused her own injury and was not performing employment services at the time.
Kirshberger took the case to the Arkansas Court of Appeals, which agreed on April 30 that workers' compensation benefits are not available.
The commission's 51-page opinion adequately stated the evidence to support the decision to deny benefits, according to the ruling.
Kirshberger failed to have the panel rule on whether she harmed herself intentionally, and whether the commission applied the wrong burden of proof.
"As we affirm on the basis that Kirshberger was not performing employment services at the time of her injury, it is unnecessary to address her remaining two points on appeal," Judge David Glover wrote for a three-member panel.