The South Dakota Supreme Court says a man who broke his ankle running away from a co-worker on whom he had played a prank at a construction site is entitled to workers’ compensation.
The high court said in a ruling released Thursday that the state Department of Labor incorrectly denied benefits to concrete laborer Jason Petrik.
Petrik tricked his co-worker into giving up his seat in an air-conditioned truck on a hot August day in 2012. He broke his ankle jumping over a trench while his co-worker chased him.
Petrik’s employer argued he shouldn’t get benefits because the company’s rules bar horseplay.
The Supreme Court reversed lower court rulings. It ruled Petrik’s horseplay wasn’t a “substantial deviation” from his normal work and therefore happened while he was on the job.
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