Pennsylvania residents may be aware of the case of a night manager at a 24-hour convenience store who died in 2009 after trying to apprehend a person who attempted to rob the store. After workers' compensation benefits had initially been authorized, the decision was appealed and the aid was denied. The appeals board reportedly determined that the worker was no longer acting as an employee when he left his post in order to chase down the robber.
The manager chased after the man, drew his pistol and jumped onto the robber's car in an attempt to stop him from getting away. He was ejected off of the robber’s car before being run over. The former BP employee suffered brain injuries and remained in a coma for five months before he died. According to the initial worker’s compensation ruling, the man’s estate was to receive benefits covering the period between his injury date and his death
Claiming that chasing after the robber was not included in his duties as an employee, the appeals board reversed the award of benefits. Recently, the Commonwealth Court reinstated the benefits as originally ruled. It was revealed that the manager shot and killed a robber in 2007, but was never disciplined for his actions. The Commonwealth Court judge also pointed out that the manager did not attempt to apprehend the robber for his own benefit, but did so in an attempt to protect the interests of his employer.
Pennsylvania families who have lost loved ones in workplace accidents have the right to claim benefits from the workers' compensation insurance fund. In cases where families experience problems with the claiming procedure, or when claims are denied, they may wish to make use of the help that is available to pursue compensation. Benefits typically cover medical and/or end-of-life expenses, along with lost income and possible survivor benefits.
Source: pennlive.com, "Store manager who suffered brain injury trying to stop thief is owed workers' comp, court says", Matt Miller, May 29, 2014