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Wisconsin officer wins workers' compensation battle

A Wisconsin police officer has won a workers' compensation battle after injuring himself while preparing for his PT test. The officer was doing pushups on his basement floor when he injured his right rotator cuff. The man was preparing for a mandatory fitness test that rewards employees who do well on it. However, the man experienced problems when seeking workers' compensation and became embroiled in a four-year legal battle.

He was ultimately victorious and was awarded over $12,000 in workers' compensation. His case made state headlines and set a new legal precedent. The city appealed the verdict, costing taxpayers over $17,000. The state's Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

The appeals court ruled that the man was required to do the pushups for his job and were 'involuntary.' However, the city is worried about the precedent the verdict will set for other claims. It believes the ruling could lead to higher workers' compensation costs and may influence wellness initiatives similar to the police department's fitness testing.

The Wisconsin man involved in the case has since retired but claims the ruling is a victory for emergency officials and organized labor, and one that could eventually affect other states. Employees in certain career fields are required to stay in shape and, when they fail to do so, could lose their jobs. This man ultimately won a victory against the workers' compensation system which could potentially help other employees who are injured while performing off-duty activities related to their work.

Source:, "Appleton loses battle over injury by officer," Nick Penzenstadler, Nov. 1, 2012

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