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The 5 Strangest Injuries That Can Earn You Workers' Compensation

Posted on 26th Jun 2011 @ 7:42 PM

If you're injured at work, you're probably entitled to worker's compensation, a delightful type of insurance that replaces lost wages and pays medical expenses for injuries received on the job. Just about everyone knows someone who's received worker's comp at one time or another. Most are clear-cut cases: the nurse who throw out his back lifting a patient, or the painter who falls off a ladder painting a shutter.

Occasionally, however, there are some weirder claims workers comp claims than the usual falls and repetitive stress cases. Here are a few of our favorites.


1. Prison Guards Get Carpal Tunnel



For instance, those of the prison guards at Menard Correctional Center in Southern Illinois. Some have filed claims based on injuries you'd expect from correctional officers, such as those sustained during a prison riot. But at least 260 claims since 2008 are tied to repetitive stress injuries, for example, those caused by repeatedly locking and unlocking prison doors.


2. Lung Disease From Area 51


We will freely admit to being suspicious when we first read about this case. Fred Dunham, a former government employee who worked at Area 51 has a mysterious lung disease, and is described by the reporter as being "convinced someone wants him to shut up, permanently." But since his disorder was (allegedly) caused by burning chemicals, and not by aliens, we're more inclined to give him a pass.


3. Lightning Strikes Gym Teacher



It looks like even God hates gym class. An elementary school P.E. teacher in Alabama was struck by lightning while working in his school's activity center. He was taken to a local medical center with what were described as "non-life threatening injuries," and is expected to make a full recovery. (And also to collect workers' comp.)


4. Pole Dancing Is a Pain in the Neck



 An exotic dancer in Fort Wayne, Indiana received workers' comp for injuries sustained while pole dancing at the Shangri-La West club. She suffered a herniated disc … and scored $10,000 in compensation.


5. Fake Sport, Real Injuries



Pretending to get injured is a dangerous business. TNA wrestling star Daffney (who also used to dress up as Sarah Palin and wrestle under the name "the Governor") submitted a workers' comp claim for injuries sustained when her head went through a barbed wire board. Honestly, if our heads went through a barbed wire board, we would file a claim and retrain for a different job.

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