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Work-from-home claims examiner’s injury likely compensable: Court


A New York appeals court on Thursday reversed a state board’s denial of a workers comp claim from a claims examiner who was injured while carrying boxes of yet-to-be-assembled office furniture that were delivered to his home for work use.

A workers compensation law judge and later the state Workers’ Compensation Board concluded that Christopher Capraro's injuries were “not sufficiently work related” to establish his comp claim, according to documents in In the Matter of the Claim of Christopher Capraro, Appellant, v. Matrix Absence Management et al., Workers' Compensation Board, filed in the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, Third Department, in Albany.

Citing several similar cases of workers who were injured while working from home, the appeals court called on the Board to determine whether Mr. Capraro, “when moving the boxes, was engaged in a ‘purely personal’ activity that was not ‘reasonable and sufficiently work related under the circumstances.’”

In remanding the case to the Workers’ Compensation Board, the appeals court wrote that “the Board should bear in mind that a short break or some similar ‘momentary deviation from the work routine for a customary and accepted purpose’ does not constitute an interruption in employment sufficient to bar a claim for benefits.”