In a recent case, a Georgia appeals court reinstated a teacher’s claim for Georgia workers’ compensation benefits after it was appealed for the third time. The teacher brought the claim for benefits after she injured herself at work. The teacher was instructing fifth grade at an elementary school and allegedly fell while walking from her desk to the front of the classroom, injuring her knee.Her employer argued the injury did not arise out of her employment. An administrative law judge for the State Board of Workers’ Compensation first granted the claimant’s claim for benefits, finding that she sustained an injury that arose out of and in the course of her employment. The board’s appellate division then reversed the lower court’s decision, denying her benefits. The appellate division found that the claimant’s injury was not compensable because it was not due to the configuration of the classroom, and the act of turning and walking was not unique to her employment. The court found that it was a risk to which she would have been equally exposed outside her employment, and it found it was caused by an idiopathic fall.
The claimant appealed, and the Superior Court then reversed the Board’s decision, reinstating the award. Finally, the employer appealed to the Georgia Court of Appeals.