SW Legal studies in Business

Spider Bite Suffered at Work Can Be Cause of Disability
Description Appeals court upheld the total disability of a firefighter who suffered a spider bite when he put on his firefighting boots. The bite eventually resulted in amputation of a leg. Since the bite was suffered in the course of employment, he is entitled to compensation.
Topic Employment Law
Key Words Workers' Compensation; Total Disability; Course of Employment; Spider Bite
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Simmons, a firefighter, was bitten by a brown recluse spider when he pulled on his fireman's boots to respond to a fire. Because Simmons suffered from poor circulation, there were complications that eventually resulted in his leg being amputated below the knee. He filed for total disability. The workers' compensation commission awarded him total disability plus medical expenses. The city appealed.
Decision

Affirmed. The injuries suffered arose out of the use of his firefighter's equipment and so incurred in the course of employment. He was, therefore, entitled to compensation benefits. The fact that his poor circulation likely worsened the effects of the spider bite did not affect his right to compensation. Given his amputation, he was unable to work as a firefighter and so is totally disabled.

Citation Simmons v. City of Charleston, S.E.2d (2001 WL 1774003, Ct. App., S.C., 2002)

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