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It doesn’t look that way, at least not at a major law firm, according to a recent Delaware Superior Court ruling. Judge Ferris W. Wharton expressed reservations on March 16 in a ruling on a paralegal’s case for worker compensation for an injury sustained at a firm softball game. “A majority of courts have held that intangible benefits alone are not enough to bring a recreational event within the course and scope of one’s employment,” Judge Wharton said. William Weller of Delaware-based Morris James ruptured his Achilles while rounding the bases in 2015. He required surgery, which was covered by health insurance. But he was out of the office for two months. His supervisor suggested he try filing a claim through the firm’s workers’ comp carrier. She later testified that she made this suggestion as a friend and because she knew the prior carrier had covered a similar claim. But the new carrier had a different policy. After the carrier denied his claim, Weller then petitioned the Industrial Accident Board, the Delaware state body that oversees workers’ comp claims. It found that the injury was within the scope of his employment. But Wharton said the accident board applied an incorrect standard.
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