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Workplace Assaults Continue To Be A Serious Problem

Workplace Assaults Continue To Be A Serious Problem

A well known workers compensation author publishes an annual list of the Top 10 most bizarre workers compensation cases. From time to time, an Alabama case makes the list. But, not this year. The list is always interesting and entertaining reading. You can read the 2021 bizarre work comp case list HERE.

The 2020 list contained multiple cases involving bizarre workplace assaults. Customers punching a manager over a mask requirement. Customers beating a restaurant hostess over social distancing requirements. Add a postal worker getting shot over the late delivery of a stimulus check. It was a violent year and the coronavirus was front-and-center. I wrote an article about these assault-related workplace injury cases last year titled Workplace Assaults Continue To Be A Serious Problem.

Would the 2021 list be different? Did we all calm tremendously in 2021? Apparently not. The same writer has now published his bizarre list for 2021 (last year). The 2021 list also contains multiple workplace assault cases. Thankfully, none are from Alabama. Here are the unusual assault cases listed:

  • Karaoke Patron Beats Restaurant Worker. The incident started when a drunk customer got into an altercation with a restaurant worker. It did not end with a single altercation. The drunk left but returned with 20 of his buddies. They then beat the restaurant worker unconscious.
  • Day Laborer Gets Violent With Machete Over Lack Of Work. Yes, these headlines write themselves. A day laborer in Florida (of course, Florida) went to a temp facility but was turned away because all the daily jobs had been filled. He became angry. He returned later with a machete. He attacked a couple employees, one of whom apparently then pulled a concealed handgun and shot the attacker.
  • McDonald’s Customer Takes Out Slushee Dissatisfaction On Workers. A McDonald’s customer in Ohio became upset over her choices of slushee flavors. She requested a special slushee combining flavors, which was refused. So, she struck the store manager. A fight erupted which ended with the customer’s arrest.

Did I mention this was a list of “bizarre” cases? You just cannot make-up these stories.

In my earlier 2021 article, I discussed Alabama law regarding workplace assaults and compensation. Are you entitled to workers compensation if injured in a workplace assault in Alabama? In many cases, the answer is yes. The critical issue is whether the assault was purely personal or had some relationship to the work (other than just your presence at the worksite).

In my earlier post, I gave a couple examples from my prior cases. In one case, my delivery driver client was assaulted by a mechanic when he took his truck into the company maintenance garage. That case was especially interesting because the company’s lawyer tried to conceal documents that were key to the claim. A second case of mine involved an apartment handyman in Huntsville who was assaulted while preparing an apartment for rent. In both cases, the work comp insurance company initially denied the claims. In both cases, I had to fight to get my client benefits. You can win assault or horseplay injury claims where the injured worker is an innocent victim and the violence is related (at least somewhat) to the employment.

Hopefully, next year the bizarre cases list will not involve a bunch of workplace assaults! The 2021 list also contained several bizarre cases involving personal errands as well as travel to-and-from work. Hopefully, we will be talking more about these issues in the future.


From its office in Huntsville, the Blackwell Law Firm represents injured workers across Alabama. We help people in serious personal injury cases statewide. We are happy to answer your legal questions. Our consultations are always free and confidential.