King v. DTH Contract Servs. Inc. (P)

A random attack on a workers’ compensation claimant by someone the claimant knows is compensable if the employment generates a risk of assault to the claimant. Thus, a claimant may prove an assault arose out of his employment if he can prove the job subjected him to greater risk of assault—even if he knew his assailant—as long as no evidence suggests the motivation for the assault was personal.

Here, for reasons that were never determined, a former co-worker stabbed the appellant in the face while he was working alone as the overnight attendant at a rest area for the appellee-employer. The Workers’ Compensation Claimant erred in denying him benefits on grounds that the attack was not random because the victim knew the assailant. When an assailant’s motive is unknown, he can still prove the assault arose out of his employment if the employment placed him at a greater risk of assaults than the general public.

Reversed and remanded.

King v. DTH Contract Servs. Inc. (P), No. 1150-18-4, Feb. 5, 2019. CAV (Huff) from Va. WCC.

Categories: Court of Appeals of Virginia, Opinions, Published

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