Dog Sledding Injury in Norway Held to be a Compensable Workers Compensation Injury
In 2011 a furniture sales representative was in Norway when she was injured during a dog sledding event. The workers’ compensation Judge found that said activity was work related, thus compensable under the Workers’ Compensation Act, and now the Workers’ Compensable Appeal Board has just affirmed.
This bizarre case and ruling started when a Pennsylvania furniture sales company was invited to Norway by a furniture manufacturer to view their operations. The furniture sales company owner invited the sales representative (Claimant) along for the trip. The sales company paid for the expenses associated with Claimant’s costs with traveling to Norway. While in Norway the Claimant adhered to the trip schedule as outlined by the host company. One of the activities for all the sales representatives in attendance included a dog sledding event. During the dog sledding event, the Claimant was paired with the manufacturing company’s representative to the Pennsylvania furniture sales company. During the event, while the manufacturing company’s rep was operating the sled, it tipped, injuring Claimant’s neck.
The claim was initially denied by the applicable workers compensation insurance carrier. Accordingly, Bill Gregory, filed a claim petition and litigated the case before a Dauphin County Workers Compensation Judge. The Judge found that Claimant was in the course and scope of her employment based upon the facts that the purpose of the trip was for work, it was paid by her employer, at the time of her injury she was engaged in the company sponsored activity while further her employer’s business interests since she was paired with the manufacturing representative. The ruling was appealed by the workers compensation insurance company and the WCAB has affirmed the Judge’s ruling.