Pennsylvania Airport Employee Initially Denied Workers’ Compensation Wins Appeal

A Pittsburgh International Airport employee suffered a terrible injury while at work in September 2014 that ultimately resulted in the amputation of one of her legs. Her initial workers’ compensation claim was rejected by her employer, Starr Aviation. The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania affirmed a state Workers Compensation Appeals Board ruling in March 2017 and the woman will now receive compensation for her catastrophic injury.

The Incident & Claim Denial

This case is a perfect example of why workers’ compensation cases are nuanced and complicated. Though the victim, named Modesty Colquitt, was at work when her injury occurred, Starr Aviation argued that she was not performing work duties when the accident took place and therefore it should not be held liable.

Colquitt was employed as a luggage cart driver and was driving the cart to meet her mother, who was dropping off necessary feminine hygiene products to her daughter at work. While driving to meet her mother in another terminal, the cart flipped and caused Colquitt severe injury. She subsequently had to undergo the amputation of her leg below the knee. Starr Aviation denied her claim, arguing that Colquitt’s coworker offered to lend her money for feminine hygiene products and therefore she didn’t need her mother to bring them. They also claimed she was driving the cart too fast.

The Appeal & Ruling

Colquitt brought her case to the appeals board, who ruled in her favor in January 2015. The board found that a “temporary departure from performing work to administer to her personal needs did not take her out of the course of her employment” and that she wouldn’t have been able to perform her duties without the supplies her mother brought. Starr Aviation appealed the ruling, resulting in last month’s Commonwealth Court rejection of the appeal.

Workers’ Compensation Cases are Rarely Simplistic

As this case exemplifies, your employer may not agree that they should cover your medical costs if you sustain an injury in the workplace. This is why it’s crucial to get the help of an experienced personal injury and workers’ compensation attorney who holds your best interests at heart.

At the Law Office of Michael L. Studd, we care deeply about the quality of life of our clients and will work tirelessly on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve. If you’ve suffered a workplace injury, call us at today (412) 400-6157 to schedule a free consultation.

Image of a woman on the phone in front of an approaching ambulance with an incredulous look on her face implying she's shocked to find out workers' compensation issues shut down her Pittsburgh borough's emergency service provider.