Pursuant to State v. Purmont, 143 Ga. App. 269, 238 S.E.2d 268 (1977), if an employee is injured in an attack by another employee, the employee must not have been the aggressor in order to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. When asserting an aggressor defense under O.C.G.A. § 34-9-17(a), it is the employer that bears the burden of proving that the injury an employee sustains during an altercation was the result of the employee’s attempt to injure another.

The employer may present details of the events leading up to the altercation. In a recent case before the Appellate Division, details pertaining to an employee’s behavior helped provide an indication as to whether the injured employee was the aggressor.  The court relied on the fact that the injured employee retreated and began to run away when his supervisor gave chase with a knife. It was this behavior that established credible evidence that the employee was not the aggressor.

What does it mean to cross-examine as an attorney?

The adverse attorney may “cross-examine” a witness by interrogating him or her in open court. The adverse attorney aims to highlight the deficiencies in the witness’ testimony, expose inconsistencies, or elicit facts that are favorable to the other party. Commonly in...

What is a Bench Trial?

The judiciary is often referred to as the “bench.” A bench trial is a trial where there is no jury and the judge serves two roles: (1) the person vested with the power to protect the procedural safeguards of the trial as to the rules of evidence and conduct of the...

5 Tips to Stay Safe in the Workplace [infographic]

5 Tips to Stay Safe in the Workplace [infographic]

In spite of training about safety, some workplace injuries are inevitable due to the nature of the work itself. However, as you can see in this infographic, you can minimize the casualty or the inflicted injury if you know the risks and hazards around your workplace....

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