Banker Lopez Gassler Attorneys At Law Banker Lopez Gassler Banker Lopez Gassler LinkedIn 1-877-BLG-4321
Firm News

Ezequiel Lugo and Chris Altenbernd Receive Favorable Decision in Workers Compensation Appeal

September 10, 2021

Chris Altenbernd and Ezequiel Lugo obtained a favorable decision in an apeal from a final compensation order determining that the claim was not compensable. 


The claimant, a building manager for a private school, sought benefits for injuries he sustained in the school’s parking lot after he was struck by a bullet from a gun that he was thinking about buying for personal use. The school had a policy against guns on campus, and the gun was privately owned by a non-employee security guard who was supposed to be unarmed but had brought the gun to the school inside his car.

The claimant argued that the injury resulted from a minor deviation that did not rise to the level of a wholesale abandonment and cited various cases involving instances of “horseplay” in support of his argument.  The employer/carrier disagreed and contended that the accident did not arise from the claimant’s employment because there was no nexus between his job and handling a gun.  The Judge of Compensation Claims ruled that the incident was not compensable.

On appeal, the claimant argued that any deviation from employment was “momentary” and had ended before the accident occurred.  Ezequiel and Chris argued that a gunshot injury was not compensable where the weapon had no link to the claimant’s work duties and there was no relationship between the gun and the employment.  Ezequiel and Chris also argued that the “horseplay” cases cited by the claimant did not apply because those cases involved items regularly found or used at the work site.

The First District Court of Appeals rejected the claimant's arguments, and affirmed without a written opinion.  The appellate court also entered an order denying appellate attorneys' fees to the claimant.  

For additional information, contact Chris Altenbernd or Ezequiel Lugo.


(813) 574-8562
(813) 574-8543