Supreme Court holds no "majority" opinion required to overturn workers' disability claim; magistrate's finding of disability reversed. Player injured at tryout is not an "employee" for work comp purposes.
Terry B. Angel sued his employer, the Grand Rapids Griffins and its comp insurer, Wausau for workers compensation benefits. The magistrate who heard his case awarded him comp benefits. On appeal by the insurer, the reviewing court held that the WCAC appellate panel must reconsider Angel's decision because they had not achieved a "majority" agreement on the proper outcome. The Supreme Court rejected this analysis and ruled that the WCAC need not reach agreement about the rationale or analysis of a disability decision: they need only agree on the outcome. On that basis, the Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of Angel's comp claim, finding that he had not adequately proven that there was no work available to him, taking into account his disability.
The Court also accepted the Griffins' argument that the Plaintiff was not eligible for workers compensation because he was injured at a tryout for the team. The team argued that he was "not yet an employee" under a "contract for hire" and therefore no work comp benefits would be due him in any event.