Home > Uncategorized > Wayne Enterprises vs. Batman: Who Pays for Bruce’s Injury?

Wayne Enterprises vs. Batman: Who Pays for Bruce’s Injury?

August 7th, 2013

Do you think Batman has workers’ compensation insurance?  What about Bruce Wayne?  If Bruce is at an event promoting Wayne Enterprises, and jumps into action to fight crime, would Batman’s policy cover the resulting injury or Wayne Enterprises’?

I direct your attention to the recent writ denied case of Roy Ceja v. City of Los Angeles, in which an off-duty police officer sought benefits from the City of Los Angeles for injuries sustained while restraining a suspected criminal while the officer was moonlighting as event security for Live Nation (insured by New Hampsire Insurance Co.)

The workers’ compensation Judge found that the injuries were sustained in the course of Officer Ceja’s activities as a police officer and not a private security employee, because the nature of the duties trumped the time and place of the events.

Here are the facts:  Ceja was employed as a security employee during a live performance put on by Live Nation.  During his shift, he followed a patron who had been previously removed but then returned to threaten some of the Live Nation personnel with a knife.  Ceja identified himself as LAPD and arrested the patron.  During the handcuffing, Ceja accidentally shot himself! (EAMS reflects the injured body part was the hands and/or fingers.)

It doesn’t matter that he was at the Live Nation venue, or that it was during his shift, or that his duties to secure the Live Nation event overlapped with his duties as an off-duty police officer.  When Bruce Wayne puts on the mask and switched to the lifetime-smoker-angry-growl voice, he becomes Batman, regardless of what else he was doing at the time or where he was.

The Judge reasoned that, Officer Ceja’s injury was sustained while off the premises (remember, he followed the patron after he left the event); Ceja identified himself as LAPD; and the actions were to protect the general public.  Finally, LAPD had conducted an investigation and paid Ceja from the time of the injury, through the time at the hospital and the interview with LAPD.

Could such reasoning be applied to non-peace officer occupations?  Imagine if Jill works for Widget Corp managing its online presence, responding to “tweets” and Facebook postings for the company.  While crossing the street and engaged in the service of another employer, she takes out her iPhone and replies to a “tweet” aimed at @widgetcorp, only be get hit by a car… is widgetcorp paying her benefits or the other employer?  What if the other employer is paying her by task and not by the hour, and she is on salary for Widget Corp?

Overlaping duties and multiple employment is a tricky issue, but the guiding light is usually shining from the basics: arising out of and in the course of employment.  Live Nation did not have any duty to protect the public, but only its patrons – those attending the performance.  Once the Sir Stabby Mcknife-a-lot let the premises, he was more of a danger to the public than to the concert attendants.

In any case, WCDefenseCA hopes that Officer Ceja has made a full recovery and continues to his brave and diligent service of the community.


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