Ezzy v. Workers' Comp. Appeals Bd.

146 Cal. App. 3d 252 (1983)

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Ezzy v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Bd.

California Court of Appeal
146 Cal. App. 3d 252 (1983)

Facts

Marilyn Ezzy (plaintiff) was a second-year law student and a part-time law clerk at a law firm. Ezzy sued the law firm after she was injured at a softball game sponsored by the firm. The firm participated in a softball league with other law firms. The league’s rules mandated that each team have male and female players, and any team that did not have at least four women playing forfeited. John Burton was one of the partners at Ezzy’s law firm and also the coach for the softball team. Burton testified that participation was voluntary. All employees were given T-shirts that bore the employees’ billing numbers at the firm without regard to participation, and the law firm paid for equipment and refreshments after the games. At the end of the softball season, the law firm held an awards banquet. Burton thought the games were beneficial for office morale. Ezzy testified that she did not sign up to play of her own accord but was drafted by Burton, who gave Ezzy a shirt and a game schedule and told her they would see her at the next game. Ezzy knew about the requirement to have a certain number of women, and female employees were urged to participate in order to prevent forfeits. Ezzy understood the firm’s goals in trying to build a positive atmosphere in the office, and based on pleas for female employees to participate, Ezzy felt that she should join the team. Unfortunately, Ezzy injured one of her fingers during one of the games. Ezzy sought workers’ compensation, but a workers’-compensation judge denied her claim and ruled that the injury Ezzy suffered did not originate with or occur in the course of her employment. Ezzy filed a petition for reconsideration, which was denied by the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (defendant). Ezzy sought review from the California Court of Appeal.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Smith, J.)

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