Inside the Law: Swing and miss for employee injured during company softball game

June 04, 2018 - 3:30 am

By Amy E. Feldman, Judge Technology Solutions​

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Can you collect workers' compensation if you’re hurt in a company softball game? 

A paralegal at a Delaware law firm who ruptured his Achilles tendon rounding bases at a company softball game sued his employer for workers' comp. 

The softball playing paralegal convinced the Industrial Accident Board that the law firm derived some benefit in the form of increased employee health and morale from having its employees play softball, so the injury sustained was in the scope of employment and he should collect workers comp. 

As you can imagine, the law firm didn’t take that lying down. They appealed — it’s kind of what law firms do -- and after three years of litigation, the appeals court reversed the decision saying that there was no evidence that playing on the team was a job requirement or that the law firm got any monetary benefit from having its employees play, so even though the firm paid for t-shirts and equipment, it didn’t have to pay workers comp. 

Let this be a lesson to you weekend warriors. If you want to play softball, don’t expect to get to first base if you sue your employer for your injury.