San Quentin CO can sue over fall on walk to work

Monnie Wright received $137,000 in workers compensation and disability benefits from the San Quentin State Prison after he fell in 2010


By C1 Staff

MARIN COUNTY – An appellate court has ruled that a correctional officer can move forward with a tort lawsuit against his employer after he was injured walking to work from his home, even though he received worker’s comp for the injury.

Business Insurance reports that Monnie Wright received $137,000 in workers compensation and disability benefits from the San Quentin State Prison after he fell in 2010.

Wright followed up with a lawsuit against the state of California, maintaining that the house he lived in, which he rents from the state, contributed to the injury since he was “injured when a defectively constructed and dangerously maintained star crumbled beneath him” during his walk.

The state argued that since Wright already received worker’s compensation that his lawsuit should be dismissed.

It also argued that California’s coming and going rule bars workers comp benefits for employees injured going to and from work didn’t apply in this scenario since Wright’s home is property of the state.

The Superior Court ruled in favor of the state, and Wright’s filing for an appeal was denied.

A three-judge panel found on Friday that Wright should be allowed to proceed with the lawsuit since the state did not intend its workers comp policy to cover residential workers for all injuries suffered on the San Quentin grounds, since Wright’s lease required him to obtain liability insurance for his residence.

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