A pair of Oakland sanitation truck drivers found justice done recently with the help of Boxer & Gerson workers’ compensation attorney Jenny Jerez after suffering a frightening episode while on their lunch hour at a fast food restaurant. The drivers had just emerged from the restaurant when they were accosted in the parking lot just short of their truck by two men, one of whom was wielding a gun. One assailant then forcibly ripped a chain from the neck of one of the drivers, causing him to suffer whiplash, while both men endured emotional distress in the fast-moving attack.
When they filed a workers’ compensation claim for their respective damages, the City of Oakland denied their claim based on the fact that the men were on their lunch hour, rather than on the job, when they were attacked. Jerez was able to definitively show that it is neither practical nor desirable even for the city to have drivers return to the work yard for their lunch hour, given the great distances their routes can take them. So in reality, drivers are still on the job and within the city’s jurisdiction despite taking a needed lunch break during their long day’s work. The presiding workers’ compensation judge agreed, with the compensation in the case yet to be determined.