JENNIFER MORRIS JONES (Raleigh) received a favorable Full Commission decision in a workers’ compensation claim in which Plaintiff, a general maintenance mechanic for a major Triangle area university, contended that he sustained a work-related left thumb injury when he allegedly reached for his two-way radio in an awkward manner. As a general maintenance mechanic, Plaintiff used his two-way radio approximately four to five times per day. Plaintiff testified that he normally grabbed his radio straight on. In the day in question, Plaintiff testified that for some unknown reason, he reached around to pick it up, allowing his thumb to make contact on the opposite side of the radio from where his thumb usually made contact with the radio. He immediately felt a cramp in his arm and his left thumb was limp. Deputy Commissioner Griffin concluded that Plaintiff sustained a compensable left thumb injury and awarded benefits. On appeal, the Full Commission determined that Plaintiff had not sustained an injury by accident, as there were no unusual circumstances that led Plaintiff to reach for his radio in a manner different from his usual manner. The Full Commission denied Plaintiff’s claim for benefits.
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