Threats Entitle Employee to Workers’ Comp

     ALBANY, N.Y. (CN) – A New York man whose co-worker’s angry husband threatened to kill him is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, a New York state appeals court ruled.
     Arthur Mosley worked as an assistant store manager for Hannaford Brothers Co. supermarket in 2007. He called a co-worker at her home to discuss a work-related issue, according to the Memorandum and Order from the Appellate Division Third Department.
     “Following that telephone call, the coworker’s husband became convinced that claimant and the coworker were engaged in a romantic relationship, prompting the coworker’s husband to undertake a course of threatening and harassing conduct against claimant, culminating in an unsuccessful murder-for-hire plot against him,” according to the July 3 Memorandum and Order.
     It continues: “Additionally, the coworker’s husband contacted claimant’s supervisor regarding the alleged affair, which triggered an internal investigation by the employer and ultimately resulted in claimant requesting a transfer to another store. As a result, claimant’s preexisting posttraumatic stress disorder was exacerbated to the point that he was unable to continue to work. Claimant thereafter filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.”
     The New York Daily News reported that Mosley testified at trial that the husband, Richard Heidorf showed up at the store the day after the phone call and said, “I’m going to kill you. You’re having an affair with my wife. Let’s take care of it right now.”
     Mosley also testified that Heidorf also put sugar in his gas tank and paid a state trooper to attack him, and threatened Mosley with genital mutilation, according to the Daily News.
     The Workers’ Compensation Board decided that Mosley’s injury was related to his job, so he is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
     Hannaford Brothers appealed, but the Appellate Division agreed that Mosley’s physical problems were job-related.
     Writing for the court, Justice John Egan Jr. ruled that “if there is any nexus, however slender,” between the injury and the employment, the claimant is entitled to benefits.
     “Here, the work-related phone call from claimant to his co-worker’s home was the basis of his subsequent harassment of plaintiff at his place of employment, the employer’s internal investigation and claimant’s request for a transfer – all of which exacerbated claimant’s pre-existing stress disorder,” Egan wrote, adding that there was no other connection between the Mosley and Heidorf.
     The Daily News reported that Heidorf was sentenced to 5 years probation in 2008 after pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy and maiming.

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