On February 28, 2012, The Labor and Industry Review Commission (LIRC) ruled that the Milwaukee County Transit System was liable for worker’s compensation benefits for one of its drivers. In doing so, LIRC reversed an administrative law judge’s decision that the driver was not acting in the course of his employment at the time of injury.
The driver, 54, was spat upon by a would-be passenger after the passenger argued with the driver over an invalid transfer ticket. The driver instinctively attempted to pursue the young man, but only got 10 feet before rupturing his left Achilles and right quadriceps tendons. Although the driver was eventually able to return to work, his injuries required surgery and resulted in permanent disability.
The Labor and Industry Review Commission found that the driver’s actions “at most constituted an impulsive, momentary, and insubstantial deviation [from his employment] that does not bar recovery.”