Injury from Trip over Dog Warrants Workers Comp

June 3, 2011 ( – Oregon’s Court of Appeals has found that a woman who tripped over her dog while working from home may be due workers compensation.

Business Insurance reports that Mary S. Sandberg was a custom decorator for J.C. Penney, selling window treatments and bedding. She spent much of her workweek traveling to appointments, meeting customers at their homes or working from her home.   

Her employer instructed her to store excess products at her home or find another place for them. Business Insurance said, consequently, she stored samples in her garage and was walking to her garage to replace fabrics in her van when she tripped over the dog, fracturing her right wrist.   

Oregon’s Workers’ Compensation Board determined that Sandberg’s injury did not arise from her employment and denied her benefits. However, the state appellate court reversed that decision and remanded the case back for further proceedings.   

“If (the) claimant tripped over a dog and injured herself while meeting with a customer in the customer’s home, her injury would arise out of her employment,” the appellate court said, according to the news report. “The same is true here because claimant was where she was, doing what she was, because of the requirements of her employment.”