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Co-workers don’t always get along.  Sometimes they fight.  Sometimes they get injured.  If they do get injured, the issue becomes whether the injury is covered by workers’ compensation insurance.  This issue can have major implications because workers’ compensation insurance covers wage loss, medical expenses, and compensates for permanent injuries.

Minnesota Statute 176.011, subd. 16, provides:

injury arising out of and in the course of employment…shall not include an injury caused by an act of a third person or fellow employee because of personal reasons and not directed against the employee as an employee, or because of the employment.

Determining Whether Workplace Assaults Are Covered Under Minnesota Work Comp

This basically boils down to whether the employee can show that the injury caused by the third person was intentional.  If the injury was caused by an intentional workplace assault, the next step is to determine if the workplace assault was motivated by the fact that the employee was an employee.  If the injury was caused as a result of a workplace assault that occurred for personal reasons, any loss will not be covered by Minnesota workers’ compensation insurance.

Minnesota has developed a test for determining whether injuries suffered from a workplace assault are covered under work comp:

  1. Injuries are not covered under work comp if the assailant was motivated by personal animosity towards the victim arising from circumstances wholly unconnected to the employment.
  2. Injuries are covered under work comp if the workplace assault was motivated solely out of the activity of the victim as an employee.
  3. In the middle ground are cases where the workplace assault was directed against the victim neither “as an employee” nor for “reasons personal to him.”  These types of injuries are typically covered by Minnesota work comp.

Consider Hiring A Work Comp Lawyer If You Suffered A Workplace Assault

You may be entitled to a number of different types of work comp benefits if you suffered injuries in a workplace assault.  The video below explains why you should consider hiring an attorney for injuries sustained in a workplace assault.

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Joshua R. Stokka

Josh has been representing injured workers for over 10 years. After his first job during law school working for a workers’ compensation attorney, he decided that workers’ compensation is what he eventually wanted to do after law school. Prior to practicing in the area of workers’ compensation, Josh clerked for a judge in the 7th Judicial District in Minnesota. This valuable experience gave him insight into how judges think, do their jobs behind the scene, and how to frame a case in order to obtain a favorable result.  Now, he focuses 100% of his practice to defending injured workers’ in Minnesota.

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