What would you do if you were injured on the job, but the injury wasn’t preventable? During Hurricane Sandy, a University of Connecticut employee was injured by a falling tree limb. The university can only do so much to prevent such injuries for happening. When the wind really starts to blow, you can’t predict what will fall.
Assigning Blame for an Injury
In a case such as this, it seems prudent to ask what the employee was doing when the injury happened. Although UConn wasn’t the hardest hit area, the storm was still extremely strong. Several dorms and other buildings on campus lost power. The university even closed its doors the following day, which rarely happens.
Let’s assume that the employee was performing his job duties when the tree limb landed on him. In this case, the university definitely owes him some compensation. At the very least, it should pay for his medical expenses and lost pay. Quite frankly, the university should have known better than to let someone work outdoors in the hours leading up to the storm.
What if He Was Going Home?
Now, let’s assume that the employee was injured on his own time. Does that let the university off the hook? He was still hurt on their property, so he might win some form of compensation in court. (The university, like other businesses, has insurance for this.) Even if he were on his way home when the injury happened, one could still argue that the university should have let him off earlier to avoid risk.