Thursday, October 27, 2011

Crazy Commonwealth Court Decision

I think the Commonwealth Court has lost it marbles. In a recent decision, Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board v. WCAB, the court addressed what is an abnormal working condition while working at a liquor store.

As we all know from my past blog entries, you can receive workers compensation benefits for a psychological injury but only if you prove that the event that caused the psychological injury (stress, anxiety, nightmares, post traumatic stress disorder) was caused by an abnormal working condition. Obviously, these cases are extremely fact sensitive and it depends upon the specific jobs being looked at.

For example, in the above case, the employee worked for a liquor store who suffered an armed robbery while working. The court held that this incident was not an “abnormal working condition” because four other liquor store robberies had occurred in the same general area of the store that the robbery took place. Therefore, the court must have felt that this one particular liquor store clerk who experienced a traumatic armed robbery, should have expected to undergo this event.

This is why I think the Commonwealth Court has lost its marbles. How insane are they to believe that this is a normal working condition? Being held up at gun point and suffering a traumatic, emotional/psychological injury because of it is normal?!?! I'm dumbfounded...