Programmer’s Heart Attack On Employer’s Property Compensable


Oklahoma City, OK ( - A computer programmer employed by Yzer, Inc. suffered a heart attack while doing lawn work for his employer on the employer's premises. Claimant sought workers' compensation benefits, which were denied: the employer denied that he was working as an employee at the time of injury and claimed that the injury was not incurred during the course and scope of his employment. Employer asserted that the claimant was acting as a volunteer when injured.

The Workers' Compensation Court granted temporary total disability benefits and further medical treatment to injured worker, finding that he was an employee and not a volunteer, and that his injury arose out of and in the course of his employment. That order was unanimously affirmed by the three-judge panel of the Workers' Compensation Court. The Court of Civil Appeals vacated the order, finding that the injury did not arise in the course of his employment. Claimant timely appealed.

But the Supreme Court said it agreed with the workers comp court finding that the yard work was extraordinary and unusual exertion compared to Mr. Rodr's job as a computer programmer.

The high court also said that the claimant was not “any other person” performing voluntary service without pay. The claimant was a salaried employee at the time of his injury and was working at his employer's behest, on the employer's premises, the Supreme Court ruled.

The Court vacated the appellate court's decision and sustained the award entered by the workers' compensation court.

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