On April 11, 2021, Atlanta nightclub security guards were taken to the hospital after a patron shot them. The shooter opened fire on the 2 officers at the Members Only Lounge on Ralph McGill Boulevard.
Members Only describes itself as “Atlanta’s exclusive VIP lounge for the city’s socialites and elite professionals.” It’s owned by Atlanta native and rapper 2 Chainz.
At the time of the shooting, the 2 guards were working security. There was an issue with one of the patrons of the lounge, and he was escorted away from the property. Not long after, the man returned to the lounge in a blue Dodge Challenger and began shooting.
Both security guards were hit as the drive-by shooter escaped. The guards were then taken to the hospital. The investigation on the shooter remains ongoing.
Shot on the job in Atlanta: workers’ compensation rights
These security guards were doing their jobs when they were shot, so does that mean they’re entitled to workers’ compensation benefits? Here’s what Georgia law says.
Most individuals who are injured by violence on the job are eligible for workers’ compensation, though there are certain circumstances which may nullify this right.
We recently represented a client who was a clerk at a convenience store. During an attempted robbery, he was shot and wounded by the burglar.
Would it be fair to exclude him from recovering under the workers’ compensation system because of workplace violence?
There are 2 main qualifiers that must be met for workplace violence to be covered under the workers’ compensation statute:
- The injuries resulting from the assault must have occurred in the scope and course of employment.
- The injured worker must not have been the aggressor in the incident.
Workers’ comp for law enforcement officers
Most cases arising out of a work-related shooting involve police officers and law enforcement.
Workers’ compensation benefits for law enforcement officers generally cover the costs related to the work-based injury as well as coverage for lost wages and disability benefits (if the officer cannot return to work or is placed on restricted duty). This system allows the officer to recuperate without needing to pursue a long, drawn-out lawsuit against their department. Workers’ comp also allows for survivor benefits in case an officer is killed in the line of duty.
While workers’ compensation claims specifically prevent officers from suing their department for work-related injuries, there are times when a third-party lawsuit can be applicable. For instance, if a third-party is responsible for the officer’s injuries (such as a shooter or citizen being arrested), they could be found liable for compensation.
If you’ve been injured on the job due to violence or a crime, your case is probably more complicated than you can handle on your own. Reach out to our experienced Atlanta work injury lawyers at Gerber & Holder Law so we can begin the process of fighting for your rights.