A Virginia appeals court has ruled against Fairfax County in an appeal of compensation for an injured firefighter.
The Court of Appeals of Virginia on Tuesday said the award of temporary total disability benefits to firefighter and EMT Scott Halisky after a re-aggravation of a prior work-related injury was proper, overturning a Fairfax County argument that the additional benefits were unwarranted because the subsequent injury occurred while Halisky was on vacation.
Halisky injured his shoulder in 2019 while lifting a stretcher from an ambulance. The municipality accepted his damage as compensable.
In November 2020, Halisky filed an additional claim for temporary total disability benefits, claiming that a fall he suffered while on vacation in Florida was a “compensable consequence”; of his original work-related injury.
The county contested the additional benefits, arguing that the Florida case was not work-related and that Halisky’s other injury was in part due to his own intentional conduct.
The Court of Appeal held that simply being on vacation, when he was medically cleared to do so, was not an intentional act by Mr. Halisky that would justify denying temporary total disability benefits.
The court called the county’s argument “misguided,” ruling that it did not provide evidence to support its claim that Halisky’s vacation was intentional conduct that led to subsequent re-injury to his shoulder.