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Old February 24, 2009, 02:32 AM   #1
Hook686
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Does the employee have a duty to get involved ?

http://arkansasmatters.com/content/f...ews?cid=193131


Quote:
McDonald's Employee Entitled to Worker's Comp?
Reported by: Lauren Trager, KARK 4 News
Friday, Feb 20, 2009 @05:39pm CST

Last August, a McDonald’s employee was shot after he intervened in a domestic fight.

He survived, but his employer’s insurer now says, they're not responsible.

After fighting for his life in the hospital, McDonald’s employee Nigel Haskett may now be fighting for reimbursement of his nearly $300,000 worth medical bills.

On surveillance tape of the day of the incident, a man apparently slaps a woman in the face. With seconds Haskett tackles him. Seconds after Haskett re-enters the store and then collapses. Police say he was shot multiple times.

A judge in the criminal proceedings called Haskett a hero.

But now, the insurance agency representing McDonald’s says he doesn't qualify for Worker's Compensation in this incident.

And the franchise owner of that McDonald’s says: don't jump to conclusions.

"We are all grateful to Nigel and that's why it is so unfortunate that he's having a difficult time with the insurance claim…however, the fact of the matter is that I do not have control over whether my employee's claim is paid by Worker's Compensation. It is my understanding that there has not been a final determination by the Arkansas Worker's Compensation Commission. I am taking this very seriously, and doing what I can to help and I hope his claim will come to a quick resolution and the right thing will be done for my employee."

But Haskett's attorney says he's entitled to the money, and will fight the insurance company for it in court.

"They do everything they can not to pay a client. That's what we have here. They just try to get out of paying any way they can," said Haskett’s attorney Philip Wilson.

There is a process to filing this claim and only the first part has been denied. The case will now go before a judge, then possibly the worker's comp commission. It could even be appealed to the Supreme Court.
I support the perspective of staying out of a fight that does not directly impact me, or mine. Others here have voiced the view of being the 'Sheep dog', that protects the herd.

I can imagine the duality to follow, but am wonderig if any views change as a consequence to this case ??
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Old February 24, 2009, 04:22 AM   #2
BillCA
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Without knowing what kind of assault was going on, it's difficult to say whether the employee's actions went overboard or not.

I think one reason we have more crime than we should is because of companies like this insurance company. There was a story not long ago about a pizza parlor hold-up where just after closing, an employee leaving the store was forced back inside at gunpoint for the heist. During the robbery, believing the robbers would kill him and the manager, he grabbed one robber's gun and was shot in the stomach. The insurance company claimed he was "on his own time" because he'd punched out. This kind of weasel-mindedness to preserve profits while ignoring the moral imperative to preserve one's own life and/or stop crime is disgusting.

I'm not saying the insurance companies should always indemnify people for playing the hero. But if the "domestic violence" incident involved repeated blows, I think they should have paid out the claim. If nothing else, it sets a community expectation that such behavior isn't tolerated in that town.

I'd like to know if the insurance company is claiming that the employee "voluntarily" put himself in harms way, doing something not required of him, and thus isn't eligible. Would they also not pay him for his injuries if a coworker's clothing caught fire and he "voluntarily" helped beat out the flames? I think not. Would they not pay the claim if he tackled the same man for assaulting a female employee sweeping the floor?

The lawyers for this insurance company (and arguably the insurance company executives), IMO, show their contempt for any moral values whatsoever.
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Old February 24, 2009, 05:53 AM   #3
imthegrumpyone
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Vary simple your employer your insurance company care about one thing and one thing only, well two things, them selves and money, sadly you are dispensable.
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Old February 24, 2009, 06:20 AM   #4
SKULLANDCROSSBONES65
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G'day. Is the insurance policy held by the employer or the employee? Who is liable, the employer the insurance Co. or the BG? Has the employer provided a safe workplace? If the insurance company wont pay out on the employers claim does this make the employer any less liable. (the employer is liable, that is why they have insurance.)
I would think that the employer is liable, the insurance Co. is up for the pay out, and the BG is guilty of an offence.
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Old February 24, 2009, 07:41 AM   #5
Keltyke
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First, I am NOT a lawyer, nor do I work for an insurance company. However, I do know a little.

Workman's Comp will usually only pay off if the injury was sustained "in the execution of the employee's normal duties." Unless "maintain order" is in the Employee Manual, breaking up domestic fights is clearly not part of a McDonald's employee's job description.

I think he's SOL.

Secondly, what he did was admirable on the surface, but really dumb deep down. He walked into a situation he knew nothing about. "Third person defense" is a clause in most community laws, but is hardly a license to go out and play hero. In fact, as seen here, it can be extremely dangerous. Although I carry, and the "third party" defense is in our laws here in SC, I would have NEVER interfered in that instance. My actions would have been to call 911, and get good descriptions of the combatants and a good report of what happened for the LEOs when they showed up.

You're always on shaky ground concerning safety and legality when you step into a situation that doesn't initially involve you. The man slapped the woman. I'm assuming a lot here. I assume no weapon was shown at that time. I assume the woman wasn't being held and could have gotten away from her assailant. From the report, the woman was not "in imminent fear of her life or grave bodily injury." Absolutely NO cause to interfere, except for the sake of heroics. That judge, IMO, is an idiot. His praise for the employee will only encourage others to act in a similar manner, possibly getting them into the same trouble this young man is in now.

We are not vigilantes, we are not LEOs. We carry a weapon for only one reason - to defend our life or the life of a loved one. Period.

Don't get me wrong, I DO understand what motivated this guy. However, in this instance, his heart was in the right place, but his mind wasn't.
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Old February 24, 2009, 09:28 AM   #6
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Gerald, you nailed it.
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Old February 24, 2009, 10:13 AM   #7
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Fighting back in the defense of another is not vigilanteism. The judge was right to call him a hero (his employer called him a hero as well, but denied encouraging such behavior) as what he did was heroic. However, heroic actions always carry with them a great risk and this young man paid the price. Everyone knows this. This article is missing a lot of information and even a little misinformation. The Man did not "slap" the woman he full out punched her in the eye according to one source.
http://www.fox16.com/news/local/stor...9Tv744r0A.cspx

I do not see anything wrong with breaking up a fight, but I would not have "tackled" or shoved this guy out the door like the employee did. Also, calling the police first would have been the best option. Perhaps it happened too fast. I don't know, they don't give enough information about the circumstances leading up to this event.

Quote:
We are not vigilantes, we are not LEOs. We carry a weapon for only one reason - to defend our life or the life of a loved one. Period.
I disagree with your blanket statement. There are times when defending others around you, especially when it also means defending yourself, are the right course of action. My firearm is for defending whomever I choose to defend within the legal realm of the law. To say that I have to defend everyone around me is wrong just as saying that I can only defend myself and my loved ones.
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Old February 24, 2009, 10:26 AM   #8
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As I see it, there are several things here.

Quote:
On surveillance tape of the day of the incident, a man apparently slaps a woman in the face. Within seconds Haskett tackles him. Seconds after Haskett re-enters the store and then collapses. Police say he was shot multiple times.
One, based on the article, the employee seems to have over-reacted. I'm not saying he should not have intervened at all, but it seems he tackled the boyfriend and proceeds to follow the guy outside where he is shot. (my interpretation based on the article, may or maynot what happened). In my oppinion, simply speaking against the boyfriend may have sufficed; if he had escalated it, it may be another matter.

Two. I in no way see this as a work-related issue, but perhaps one of civil decency. Sure, to some extent, employees are to help maintain order within their place of work. This can be done by asking said offender to leave or calling the police. An employee has no business to attack someone for any reason (again, my interpretation) and has now become the agressor by doing so. As such, I see no reason why the company's insurance should be held liable at all.

Third. I see little application from this case to one for concealed carry holders, other than not to unlawfully attack people for a third party's benefit. Frankly, if the employee did initate the attack against the boyfriend, the boyfriend could verywell have been acting in self defense in shooting the employee.

One must always consider when and why to step in to aid another. I've been brought up on the school of thought that "evil prevails when good people do nothing" and think that a confrontation isn't out of line in this case. Assaulting the boyfriend back hardly seems appropriate, though. However, your actions are your responsibility, so you must decide on what grounds you are acting, and what you are willing to accept in doing so.
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Old February 24, 2009, 11:02 AM   #9
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I agree with your post Great Mahoo. I wonder why he chose to act so aggressively, and that is why I wonder what happened just before the events shown in the security video clip.
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Old February 24, 2009, 11:33 AM   #10
Kleinzeit
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I just saw this reported on Fox News. The anchor insisted repeatedly on the heroics of the employee, and launched a very angry attack at McDonalds. She holds them entirely responsible for any failure to see the employee compensated. "I am angry," she said. "This is a disgrace."

I wonder what all this does for the public perception of guns? I like The Great Mahoo's comments:

Quote:
An employee has no business to attack someone for any reason (again, my interpretation) and has now become the agressor by doing so. ...

Frankly, if the employee did initate the attack against the boyfriend, the boyfriend could verywell have been acting in self defense in shooting the employee.
I'm guessing the boyfriend saw himself as the victim of an assault. I wonder if his gun was legal? I wonder where the law will stand on this if/when he is arrested? Of course, he's a BG for beating on his girlfriend. But that doesn't mean that the discussion is over in respect to his use of a firearm.
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Old February 24, 2009, 11:45 AM   #11
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It's one thing to call the police and ask the man to stop hitting the woman and to leave your store. Those would be appropriate actions.

Slapping a woman in the face is not an appropriate behavior but it is not life threatening. If the man had assaulted(or attempted to) the women in a way that could have resulted in serious injury or death then intervening in the manner this man did would certainly be justified. In the case of a simple assault one can afford to wait for the police to arrive.
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Old February 24, 2009, 11:46 AM   #12
luvsasmith
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It is not your duty to get involved. That is what police are for.
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Old February 24, 2009, 12:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
It is not your duty to get involved. That is what police are for.
Hmm. So as we all know LE response times are measured in minutes. A guy is stabbing a woman in a parking lot, with her screaming for help.

No involvement? BTW this actually happened, and yes a bystander got involved.
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Old February 24, 2009, 12:21 PM   #14
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It is not your duty to get involved in a non-life-threatening situation.
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Old February 24, 2009, 12:22 PM   #15
chris in va
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Exactly. Of course, getting beat all to heck could also be considered 'non life threatening' too. Virginia has a 'danger to life and limb' clause for good reason.

I certainly hope we wouldn't just stand around and watch someone beat the tar out of an innocent bystander.
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Old February 24, 2009, 12:24 PM   #16
Kleinzeit
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Quote:
has a 'danger to life and limb' clause for good reason.
Good point.
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Old February 24, 2009, 12:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
A guy is stabbing a woman in a parking lot, with her screaming for help.
You're comparing apples to oranges. A stabbing is a LOT different than a slap in the face.
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Old February 24, 2009, 12:34 PM   #18
Kleinzeit
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Quote:
You're comparing apples to oranges. A stabbing is a LOT different than a slap in the face.
I think chris in va was just responding to the comment about us having NO duty to get involved and that the protection of others is always a matter for the police.
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Old February 24, 2009, 12:40 PM   #19
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One used to have a moral obligation to protect those that can't protect themselves: women, children, the elderly.

I think the man should be treated as a hero.
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Old February 24, 2009, 12:45 PM   #20
Kleinzeit
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Quote:
One used to have a moral obligation to protect those that can't protect themselves: women, children, the elderly.
I don't think that is in doubt. The question is whether he exercised that moral obligation in an effective way. He did not.
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Old February 24, 2009, 01:59 PM   #21
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You can't react emotionally in situations like this. Do I think it is wrong as hell to hit a women? Yes I do, but that doesn't mean I am going to get involved unless there is a threat of death or serious bodily injury.

Unless there is that threat I will wait for the police because intervening in a minor assault can only end badly for me.
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Old February 24, 2009, 02:07 PM   #22
The Great Mahoo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kleinzeit
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave P
One used to have a moral obligation to protect those that can't protect themselves: women, children, the elderly.
I don't think that is in doubt. The question is whether he exercised that moral obligation in an effective way. He did not.
Exactly. I think he could have stepped in, told him that was unacceptable and even called the police, but tackling the man seems unreasonable for slapping someone.
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Old February 24, 2009, 04:52 PM   #23
luvsasmith
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I said "DUTY" as in LEGAL DUTY. As far as SHOULD an individual get involved, of course.
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Old February 24, 2009, 05:03 PM   #24
Kleinzeit
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Quote:
I said "DUTY" as in LEGAL DUTY. As far as SHOULD an individual get involved, of course.
Right. It doesn't seem that this employee had any duty, in that sense, to get involved at all. Like Keltyke said,

Quote:
Unless "maintain order" is in the Employee Manual, breaking up domestic fights is clearly not part of a McDonald's employee's job description.
I don't think I can blame the insurance company for resisting this one. And I'm kind of mad at Fox News for trying to manipulate public opinion into a lather of fury at McDonalds to shame them into footing the hospital bill. I do hope though that McDonalds does make a substantial contribution to a private collection being taken up for him. He might have acted thoughtlessly, but he meant well, and shouldn't have his life ruined over this.

Please keep us posted, all, as the story develops. I'm still interested in hearing the shooter's story.
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Old February 24, 2009, 06:50 PM   #25
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Quote:
We are not vigilantes, we are not LEOs. We carry a weapon for only one reason - to defend our life or the life of a loved one. Period.
What do you think being a vigilante means? Vigilantes work outside of the law. It is no more vigilanteism to defend a stranger from a threat than it is to defend a loved one from a threat, something you support.

You may choose to carry a gun only for the purpose of protecting yourself and your loved ones and that is fine as your call, but don't speak for the rest of us.
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