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December 20, 2014

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Casino employee denied workers comp after falling out of office chair

A casino worker injured when he fell out of his chair while trying to prop his feet on the desk has lost a round in his bid to collect worker's compensation insurance payments.

The Nevada Supreme Court has ruled there was insufficient evidence for Gary Mogg, an "eye in the sky" at the Fitzgeralds Casino-Hotel, to qualify for industrial insurance payments.

The court said a hearing officer abused its discretion in deciding that Mogg's "conduct was within the course and scope of his employment and that the injuries arose out of his employment."

Mogg was a surveillance agent assigned to monitor 38 television screens to oversee the casino. While seated in the surveillance room at the casino, he started to put his legs on the corner of the desk to revive circulation. The chair tipped and he was thrown to the floor. He maintained the chair was defective.

Due to the legal fight, he has been unable to receive any worker's compensation benefits since the accident in January 2008. Fitzgeralds carried its industrial insurance coverage through Cannon Cochran Management Services, Inc.

The Supreme Court said it was unable to determine if there was any "implied prohibition" that barred the propping of feet on the desk. If there was an "implied prohibition," the court said "injuries did not arise out of his employment and they are not compensable."

The court sent the case back to the office of hearing officers to determine if there was an increased risk by Mogg in putting his feet on the desk and if there was any written or implied prohibition against it.

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  1. Wow! There's something wrong with this decision. Since this was an "on-the-job" injury, I believe the guy is entitled to workman's comp. Now, if it were proven he injured himself purposely or was malingering, that would be a different matter, but no such claim was made from what I've read.

  2. I wonder how many of the Justices dictated their decision on this matter from their desk with their legs propped up on the corner?

  3. And had the 'goober' not fallen out of his chair, we might have had a lawsuit because he cut himself while opening up a beer.. AFTER propping his feet up. I guess if the casino had though reclining was a proper position to do surveillance work from, they would have had recliners instead of chairs. I too have leaned back too far in a work chair only to find myself on my keester, not something I think is legitimate for a Workers Compensation claim, that is for people who truly get injured while working.

  4. Thank God he worked in the private sector...

    If he was a government/public employee, there'd be a hundred comments by now about 'lazy, no good public workers trying to game the system.'

    I'm wondering what kind of office furniture they provide @ Fitzy's...
    I hope it's of higher quality than what you see in the rest of the joint.

  5. This guy doesn't deserve a penny in WC!! He was trying to "make himself at home" at his desk, ie feet on top (yeah, that's how you sit at your desk at work) and he fell off his chair!! Please. Give me a break. If he was trying to sit down or sit normally and the chair slipped from under him, maybe he would have a claim.

    ONe of my dear friends years ago was very tired (she has since passed away and her tiredness was part of her medical condition) so she went into the ladies' room at work and sat in the handicap stall to take a short nap. Well, she did fall asleep and fell off the toilet seat and hit her head on the handicap railing! She had this HUGE bump and bruise on her forehead but she couldn't do anything about it workmens' comp-wise since she was "napping" on the job! Not to mention she was quite embarrassed at what happened (even though we laughed our asses off about it!) So this guy falling off his chair just better get a footrest under his desk instead of trying to put his feet up!!!