Volunteer member of a mounted posse program is not considered an employee for Workers’ Compensation benefits

This is a non published case of the Court of Appeal

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

The applicant suffered compensable injuries when the horse she was riding was spooked and she was thrown off.

Applicant was a member of the “Mounted Posse Program.”

The duties of the posse are prescribed in a county manual. Members of the posse must pass a background check. The members are trained in traffic control, crowd management, crime scene protection and first aid. The manual prescribes proper uniforms. Applicant was injured while doing training

The Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) found the applicant was not a covered employee for benefits. The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) reversed and ruled she was a covered employee entitled to benefits.

The appellate court looked at the concept of “posse comitatus.” They believed this group existed for ceremonial and publicity purposes as opposed to assisting existing law enforcement. The applicant was not performing any active law enforcement at the time of her injury. Therefore, she was not a covered employee. They did not believe the Laeng decision was comparable.

Case: County of Riverside v. WCAB(Taylor)

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

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