Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published August 28, 2014 at 6:18 AM | Page modified August 28, 2014 at 3:40 PM

  • Share:
             
  • Comments
  • Print

State court: Workers' comp OK for kickball injury

Have you ever been hurt in a company softball or kickball game? The South Carolina Supreme Court says you may be entitled to workers' compensation.


Associated Press

advertising

COLUMBIA, S.C. —

Have you ever been hurt in a company softball or kickball game? The South Carolina Supreme Court says you may be entitled to workers' compensation.

On Wednesday, the court ruled that Stephen Whigham, who was injured in a company kickball game, is entitled to workers' compensation benefits because he was required to attend the game as part of his job.

Whigham worked for Jackson Dawson Communications, a public relations firm. With the encouragement of his boss, he organized a kickball game as a team-building event for employees. He rented a facility and had T-shirts made.

During the Friday afternoon game, Whigham shattered two bones in his leg while trying to avoid being tagged out. He underwent two surgeries and has been told that he'll ultimately need a knee replacement, according to court documents.

A hearing will be held to figure out how much Whigham should get.

Workers' compensation commissioners initially denied Whigham's claim, saying that he hadn't been required to be at the game. An appeals court upheld that ruling, but the high court said Whigham had to be there because he organized the game, so it had become part of his job duties.

"Although the event may have been voluntary for company employees generally, the undisputed facts unequivocally indicate Whigham was expected to attend as part of his professional duties," the court wrote.

Justices also pointed to testimony from Whigham's boss, who said he would have been "surprised and shocked" if Whigham hadn't showed up.

In a dissenting opinion, two justices wrote they would have upheld the commission's decision to deny benefits because it wasn't clear if Whigham had to attend the game. Even if he had to be there, those justices wrote that it wasn't clear that he had to actually play.

___

Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP



Want unlimited access to seattletimes.com? Subscribe now!

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►