Court: Workers’ Compensation
Trial Attorney: Nicholas A. Dibble, Esq.
Brief Attorney: Nicholas A. Dibble, Esq.
**Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances**
In a truly peculiar fact pattern the petitioner alleged that she was bit by a dog at a BBQ while working as a cashier at Walmart. The respondent denied the claim and filed a Motion to Dismiss arguing that the incident did not occur within the course and scope of employment. A trial ensued on the Motion to Dismiss.
The petitioner was the first person to take the stand and testified that she worked at Walmart on the date of the incident, however, prior to the incident she had clocked out to lunch. While clocked out for lunch she left the store, was picked up by her husband and taken to a BBQ at his friend’s house where she was bit by the dog. Notably, the owner of the dog worked as a manager at a different Walmart location. There were more than a dozen people at the BBQ but the only people there who worked for Walmart were the petitioner and the dog owner. Although the BBQ was scheduled for the Saturday of the Fourth of July weekend, the petitioner testified that she was at the BBQ for a job interview with the dog’s owner for a position at a different Walmart location. Her husband testified next and confirmed this.
The third witness offered by the petitioner was the dog’s owner who disagreed with the petitioner’s testimony. The owner testified that they may have discussed potential openings at the dog owner’s store but at no time was the BBQ a job interview. Following the testimony of the dog owner the petitioner rested. Before proceeding any further with trial the respondent moved for the case to be dismissed immediately given the lack of evidence demonstrating that the dog bite occurred within the course and scope of employment. The Judge of Compensation agreed and dismissed the entire claim with prejudice as the dog bite did not occur within the course and scope of employment.