Physical Education teacher's family awarded death benefits for after school student-faculty basketball game fatality

In this very sad case, the decedent was a physical education teacher at a Tidewater area Middle School. He collapsed during an after-school student/faculty basketball game. He ran up and down the court once and collapsed and then died. The claim by the teacher’s widow and children was denied by his employer and their third party administrator (“TPA”).

The Full Commission found that “the decedent’s action of traversing a basketball court was an accident. From the record, it is apparent that he ran the length of the court before collapsing. The decedent in this case did not participate in strenuous activity for any significant length of time. The cause of the injury was a sudden activity, running up a basketball court. A sudden burst of strenuous activity caused a sudden mechanical change in the body.” The faculty member’s case met the requirements for compensability in Virginia. My friend and skilled Norfolk lawyer John Klein won this tragic case for the Phys Ed teacher’s family. HAROLD R. MORGAN v. CITY OF NORFOLK SCHOOL BOARD, VWC File No. 178-40-01

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