A man who fed grizzly bears for a living decided to smoke pot before work. Can you guess what happened next?
Surprise. Surprise. He was seriously injured when one of the bears at Great Bear Adventures in West Glacier, MT, attacked him.
Lucky for him the man was able to escape with his life after crawling under an electric fence.
He admitted to his employer that he got high before entering the bear enclosure. Then he applied for workers’ comp.
Did he get it?
What the law says
Before you decide, you should know that Montana law says: “An employee is not eligible for benefits otherwise payable under this chapter if the employee’s use of alcohol or drugs not prescribed by a physician is the major contributing cause of the accident.”
Result: Based on the grounds that his drug use was a major contributor to the accident, his benefits claim was denied — initially.
But later the man appealed to Montana’s Workers’ Compensation Court — where a judge said his use of marijuana to kick off a day of working with grizzlies was “ill advised to say the least and mind-bogglingly stupid to say the most.”
However, then the judge noted that while the man’s drug use may have been stupid, there was no evidence to conclude that it was the major cause of the incident.
The judge wrote: “Grizzlies are equal opportunity maulers, attacking without regard to race, creed, ethnicity, or marijuana usage.”
Final decision: The man gets comp.
Cite: Hopkins v. Uninsured Employers’ Fund.
Do you think it was the right decision? Share your opinion in the Comments Box below.