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No Benefits For Injury In Dog-Pile

 No Disability Retirement Benefits for Injured Court Officer:

 

A court officer who suffered injuries when he and his colleagues dog-piled an unruly individual outside a courtroom was not entitled to accidental disability retirement benefits, a New York appellate court ruled.

 

Case: Roberts v. DiNapoli, No. 517804, 05/01/2014, published.

 

Facts: Anthony Roberts, a court officer, suffered injuries while attempting to subdue a combative individual outside a courtroom.

 

Roberts filed a petition for accidental disability retirement benefits after this, but the New York State and Local Employees' Retirement System denied his claim.

 

Procedural History: A hearing officer found that Roberts had failed to show that the incident which caused his injury was an "accident" within the meaning of the Retirement and Social Security Law.

 

After the state comptroller accepted and adopted the hearing officer's decision as his own, Roberts petitioned for judicial review.

 

Analysis: The Appellate Division's 3rd Department said substantial evidence supported the hearing officer's decision.

 

Under the Retirement and Social Security Law, the court explained, an "accident" is an event that is "a sudden, fortuitous mischance, unexpected, out of the ordinary, and injurious in impact."

 

To constitute an accident, therefore, the event must arise from risks that are not inherent to petitioner's regular employment duties, the court said.

 

As Roberts' regular job duties included "physically restraining unruly individuals," the court said his injuries were not from an "accident." The fact that other court officers piled on top of him and the unruly individual did not render the incident an "accident" either, the court added.

 

Disposition: Confirmed.

 

To read the decision, click here.

 

Source: WorkCompCentral

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