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Casino worker hurt after car hits hog eligible for comp


A woman who got into a car accident with a massive wild hog while returning from a trip to an Alabama bingo hall can receive workers compensation for her injuries, the Mississippi Court of Appeals has ruled.

Virginia Applequist, 68, worked as an off-property director of player development for Pearl River Resort, a casino in Philadelphia, Mississippi, owned by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. She lived in Alabama and often traveled to Alabama gambling facilities to survey them for her job, according to court filings.

In January 2010, Ms. Applequist and her sister were returning from a bingo hall called Bama Bingo in Birmingham, Alabama, when her car ran into a 400-pound wild hog during a rain storm at 4 a.m., records show. Ms. Applequist wore a back brace for 90 days and worked from home while recovering from her injuries, but did not file for workers comp until Pearl River Resort terminated her employment in September 2011.

The Mississippi appellate court unanimously ruled on April 21 that Ms. Applequist was due comp benefits, even though she was on the road late at night and her sister was driving at the time that her car hit the hefty hog.

The Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission “found Applequist was returning from conducting market research of a competing gaming facility — a duty within her job description,” the ruling reads. “While this court might not have reached the same decision, we find substantial evidence supports the commission’s decision. So we must affirm.”

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