The claimant alleged having sustained a work injury when he fell while carrying a large pot of boiling hot ingredients, resulting in burns to his chest, legs, left arm, back, bilateral legs, left knee and left ankle. The claim was denied on the basis that the claimant was visibly intoxicated when he came in to work.
Upon diligent investigation through several witnesses and extensive medical records, LOIS Attorney Nathalie Thomas, supported by paraprofessional Rida Khan, obtained ample evidence that demonstrated that the claimant’s behavior and judgment at work were clear signs of alcohol intoxication, which were corroborated by medical records revealing significant blood alcohol levels.
Under Worker’s Compensation Law, an employee is not entitled to benefits if his injuries are caused by his intoxication. Specifically, the presumption under Section 21(4) does not apply where there are no other factors beyond his intoxication that contributed to the alleged injury.
At trial, we successfully argued that the overwhelming evidence proved that the claimant would not have sustained his injuries but for his intoxication and, as such, the claim was not compensable. Accordingly, the claim was disallowed.