Tag Archives: intoxication

Mississippi Commission’s Decision to Deny Claim Because of Employee’s “Refusal” to Take Breathalyzer Test Cannot Stand

Yesterday, in a divided decision, the Court of Appeals of Mississippi reversed a decision by the state’s Workers’ Compensation Commission (“Commission”) that had denied an employee’s workers’ compensation claim because the employee had refused to take a breathalyzer test after … Continue reading

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Virginia Employer Proves Employee Was Intoxicated, But Still Loses Case

The Court of Appeals of Virginia recently reiterated that in order to defeat a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, it is not enough to show that an employee was intoxicated at the time of his or her injury; the employer … Continue reading

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Arkansas Court Affirms Denial of Death Benefits Related to Drug Overdose

An Arkansas appellate court recently affirmed a denial of workers’ compensation death benefits to the surviving beneficiaries of a deceased worker who overdosed on methadone in 2009 while being treated for withdrawal from opiates prescribed for pain resulting from his … Continue reading

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New Hampshire: Intoxication, Without Showing of Causation, Is Insufficient to Defeat Comp Claim

Reiterating an important point, that in order to defeat a workers’ compensation claim it is generally insufficient to show that the injured worker was intoxicated at the time of the injury–the employer/carrier must also prove a causal connection between the … Continue reading

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Ninth Circuit Construes Longshore Act’s Intoxication Defense Provisions

The Longshore Act provides that no compensation shall be payable if the injury “was occasioned solely by the intoxication of the employee” [33 U.S.C.S. § 903(c), emphasis added]. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently denied review of a Benefits … Continue reading

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LHWCA: Ninth Circuit Agrees that Injury Was Caused By Intoxication, Not Concrete and Metal Slab Onto Which Claimant Fell

Under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (“LHWCA”), no compensation is payable “if the injury was occasioned solely by the intoxication of the employee” [see 33 U.S.C. § 903(c)]. In Schwirse v. Director, Office of Workers’ Comp. Programs, 2012 … Continue reading

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In Spite of Statutory Presumptions, Proof of Positive Drug Test May Not Be Enough to Defeat Claims

In the great majority of jurisdictions, voluntary intoxication that renders an employee incapable of performing his or her work is a departure from the course of employment sufficient to defeat a claim for workers’ compensation benefits for injuries related thereto … Continue reading

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For Second Time in Eight Months, Arkansas Court Sends Case Back to Workers’ Compensation Commission to Determine if Claimant Successfully Rebutted Statutory Presumption Related to Alleged Methamphetamine Use

It’s axiomatic that in virtually all workers’ compensation cases it is the fact-finder–the Industrial Commission, Appeals Board, or the hearing officer–who must pass upon the credibility of witnesses; the appellate court may not do so. Occasionally, however, the fact-finder gets … Continue reading

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