Donnell J. Collins, a Partner in the Atlanta office, received a defense ruling on September 20, 2013 in a workers’ compensation case he tried in May before the Trial Division of the State Board of Workers’ Compensation as counsel for Sedgwick CMS and Universal Health Services.  Judge Elizabeth Lammers issued the Award denying the employee’s claim for workers’ compensation benefits in its’ entirety based upon a finding that the claim is barred based upon the claimant’s willful misconduct.

The claimant, a former employee that worked in an in-patient mental health facility, sought both medical and indemnity benefits as a result of the injuries she allegedly sustained during her arrest for failing to cooperate with law enforcement officers who arrived at the facility to execute an arrest warrant for a patient.  The case involved the defense of the actions of multiple local law enforcement officers and the Lieutenant for a metro Atlanta police department.  Judge Lammers determined that an accident and injury occurred during the course of employment, but that the accident did not “arose out of “ the claimant’s employment.  The Court concluded that the claimant engaged in willful obstruction of justice.