Theater failed to show teen’s injury due to hypoglycemiaPosted On: Sep. 30, 2019 1:44 PM CST
A teenaged theater worker will have another chance to prove that her fractured arm injury is compensable.
In Wainwright v. American Multi-Cinema Inc., the Louisiana Court of Appeals, First Circuit in Baton Rouge held in a unanimous decision on Friday that questions remain over whether the teen’s injury was due to a hypoglycemic episode or was compensable, and reversed and remanded a workers compensation judge’s dismissal of the claim.
Kendall Wainwright worked for Kansas City, Missouri-based American Multi-Cinema as a movie theater attendant. In 2017, while sweeping the theater floor, she fell and fractured her left arm. She said she fell down the stairs, and when she saw her broken arm she passed out. Medical records from the incident stated that she had a history of hypoglycemia and that she checked her blood sugar daily.
Her father filed a workers compensation claim on her behalf, but the theater and its insurer moved to dismiss her claim, alleging that her hypoglycemia caused her to faint and fall. A workers compensation judge granted summary judgment to the employer and insurer and dismissed her claim, and Ms. Wainwright and her father appealed.
The appellate court reversed and remanded the decision, holding that the workers compensation judge erred in establishing that there was no genuine issue of material fact as to whether the teen’s accident arose out of or in the course of her employment.
Although the theater and insurer argued that Ms. Wainwright’s accident did not arise out of her employment is she fainted from hypoglycemia, the appellate court noted that questions remain as to whether the fall was caused by a fainting spell, due to tripping over her feet, and noted that she was engaged in performing work under the direction of her manager at the time of the injury.
The court held that the theater’s evidence “did not resolve the factual dispute over whether the fall was caused by a pre-existing medical condition … or her falling down the stairs for other reasons.”