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Casino employee denied workers compensation claim after falling out of office chair

Monday 28 November 2011

A casino worker injured when he fell out of his chair while trying to prop his feet on the desk has lost a round in his bid to collect worker's compensation insurance payments.

The Nevada Supreme Court has ruled there was insufficient evidence for Gary Mogg, an "eye in the sky" at the Fitzgeralds Casino-Hotel, to qualify for industrial insurance payments.

The court said a hearing officer abused its discretion in deciding that Mogg's "conduct was within the course and scope of his employment and that the injuries arose out of his employment."

Mogg was a surveillance agent assigned to monitor 38 television screens to oversee the casino. While seated in the surveillance room at the casino, he started to put his legs on the corner of the desk to revive circulation. The chair tipped and he was thrown to the floor. He maintained the chair was defective.

Due to the legal fight, he has been unable to receive any worker's compensation benefits since the accident in January 2008. Fitzgeralds carried its industrial insurance coverage through Cannon Cochran Management Services, Inc.

The Supreme Court said it was unable to determine if there was any "implied prohibition" that barred the propping of feet on the desk. If there was an "implied prohibition," the court said "injuries did not arise out of his employment and they are not compensable."

The court sent the case back to the office of hearing officers to determine if there was an increased risk by Mogg in putting his feet on the desk and if there was any written or implied prohibition against it.

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