Detective injured while traveling to crime scene has comp benefits restored

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York has reversed a decision by the state Workers’ Compensation Board overturning a petition for comp benefits by a police detective injured while traveling to an investigation.

In a Thursday decision, the appeals court ruled the board was wrong to deny comp benefits to Tulio Serrata, a detective sergeant with the Suffolk County Police Department, who was injured after his vehicle was struck by a garbage truck while he was driving to a suspect interrogation.

Mr. Serrata was on call during the overnight hours of April 26, 2021, and he used his personal vehicle to travel from his home to the police precinct, where he was scheduled to pick up a department car and then head to the crime scene.

He was stopped at a traffic light when he was struck from behind by a garbage truck.

Mr. Serrata filed a claim for comp benefits stemming from his injuries, and a comp judge found the accident arose out of and in the course of employment since he was traveling to a crime scene, but the decision was overturned by the comp board.

The appeals court determined the board was wrong to deny the claim, since a special exception applied at the time Mr. Serrata was traveling from his home to the police precinct to check out a department vehicle.

The case was remanded to the comp board.   



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