Monday, June 7, 2010

Man Mauled By Grizzly While Smoked on Weed Can Collect Comp

In Montana, if you get mauled by a Grizzly while working a an entertainment venue, and a wee bit smoked on the local botany, no problem you can still collect your workers' compensation.  Brock Hopkins was feeding the attractions at the Great Bear Adventure Park when attacked.  He admits he was tootin'  A Montana workers' compensation judge, James Jeremiah Shea, has upheld Hopkins' claim for benefits.

Generally, speaking being drunk, intoxicated or in an "altertated state" takes you outside of the zone of employment for worker's compensation purposes if the employer can show that your state of intoxication caused your injury.  Obviously, being mauled by a Grizzly tends not to suggest that your use of a substance caused the injury unless of course you did something really out of the ordinary.   Not that workers high on marijuana ever do anything stupid or unusual.


  1. wow, talk about a buzzkill...

  2. No kididng, Gayle! I had a case many years ago where I represented the family of a guy killed when an overloaded crane crumbled and a multi-ton casting came down on this poor guy. n autopsy the coroner noted 12 nano-grams of THC in the blood stream. At the time "nano" was not in the normal persons' vocabularly, certainly not mine. I quickly learned that this indicated that my client might have smoked marijuana--oh, let's say sometime around his 3d birthday and that the finding in no way implicated impairment. The employer insisted that if this guy did not have evidence of THC in his bloodstream he would have been able to "avoid" being crushed to death. I dismissed this argument as the "munchies defense" as in---"oh, man look at that crane collapsing, boy could I use a couple browni. . ." My clients family got the survivors' benefits.


  3. Good for you, BL. I am, however, disturbed to learn that something I may have, um, inhaled in 1976 is still floating around in my bloodstream. I shall endeavor not to be crushed by a crane, lest my misspent youth be aired in court...

  4. Did the bear get a contact buzz?