An injury resulting from a misdemeanor traffic stop is ruled non compensable

This is an order denying reconsideration case

This is a very significant case for workers’ compensation principles.

The applicant alleged an injury during a traffic stop when officers pulled him from his vehicle and  threw him to the ground injuring his lumbar spine, both knees, wrists, and left ankle. The applicant was charged with five misdemeanor counts. The applicant pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts that carried both the potential for jail time and fines.

The case went to trial and the Worker’s Compensation Judge (WCJ) ruled the injuries non compensable due to the commission of a crime under Labor Code section 3600 (a)(8). The applicant filed a petition for reconsideration indicating the labor code section was only applicable to felonies and not misdemeanors.

The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) reviewed 3600 (a)(8) and indicated that though the statute indicated felonies it also provided a bar for any crime punishable as specified in Penal Code section 17 (b). Section 17 (b) includes crimes punishable by a fine or imprisonment in a county jail.

The WCAB ruled the applicant pleaded guilty to such crimes even though misdemeanors. The applicant’s injuries were caused by the commission of a crime punishable by fine or imprisonment and therefore, were not compensable. The petition for reconsideration was denied and the applicant received nothing.

Johnson v/ Lexmar Distribution

  Editor: Harvey Brown
Samuelsen, Gonzalez, Valenzuela & Brown
3501 Jamboree Suite 602
Newport Beach, Ca 92660
(949) 689-5586


Harvey Brown
3501 Jamboree Rd. Suite 602
Newport Beach, CA 92660

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