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Thursday, January 8, 2015

State store manager robbed at gunpoint wins workers’ comp

Today's post is shared from
PITTSBURGH – Robberies at state liquor stores in the Philadelphia area might be fairly common, but not so much that a former store manager left emotionally traumatized by one should be denied workers’ comp benefits, an appeals court ruled.
Gregory Kochanowicz, 60, of Philadelphia, managed a state store in suburban Morrisville when a masked robber put a gun to the back of his head and duct-taped him to a chair during an April 2008 robbery – the only one Kochanowicz experienced in more than 30 years on the job.
Kochanowicz has been off work ever since, collecting Social Security disability benefits for the post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from the robbery.
He had to fight for workers’ compensation payments because the Liquor Control Board and its insurer argued that robberies were a “normal working condition” and, therefore, his resulting PTSD shouldn’t trigger the benefits.
“Ironically, if he got shot and injured he’d be entitled to workers’ comp, but because he followed procedure and saved himself and his co-workers from harm, he got nothing,” said Alfred Carlson III, Kochanowicz’s attorney.
Among other things, the liquor board noted there were 99 robberies at state stores in the Philadelphia area from 2002 to 2008, and that board officials include how to respond to robberies and other emergencies as part of employees’ normal training.
Robert Baker, the...
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