On February 3, 2014 the Colorado Supreme Court issued the decision, City of Brighton and CIRSA v. Helen M. Rodriguez, No. 12SC737 to determine if an unexplained fall at work satisfies the “arising out of” employment requirement of the Workers’ Compensation Act. Ms. Rodriguez while working fell down some stairs outside her place of employment while speaking with some co-workers. The stairs were not slick and they were not in disrepair. Further, the co-workers who witnessed the fall did not see Ms. Rodriguez trip or slip on anything. Ms. Rodriguez did not remember the fall after striking her head and as a consequence had no explanation for her fall. She sought benefits from workers’ compensation for the injuries sustained in the fall. Initially, her employer admitted that the fall was work related and that she was entitled to benefits. However, the employer changed this position shortly after the claim was filed asserting that because the fall was unexplained it did not arise out of her employment. The Administrative Law Judge agreed with the employer and determined that the incident was not compensable.
The issue found it way to the Colorado Supreme Court which concluded that an unexplained fall satisfies the requirement of the “arising out of” employment standard set forth in the Workers’ Compensation Act. The high court reasoned that the fall would not have occurred but for the conditions and obligations of employment placed Ms. Rodriguez in the position where she fell and was injured.
Injury accidents are scary and in many situations the insurance companies do not have your best interest in mind. If you have been hurt as a result of someone’s negligence call Sisun & Scriven, P.C. (303) 377-8861.