The Department of Industrial Accidents Reviewing Board recently held that the standards M.G.L. chapter 152, section 27 were not met, thus affirming the decision of the Administrative Judge. Click here for a link to the case.
M.G.L. chapter 152, Section 27, pertains to situations involving an injury caused by the “serious and wilful misconduct” of the Employee. In these situations, if it is determined that the injury was, in fact, caused by the serious and wilful misconduct of the employee, no compensations shall be awarded. Section 27 is, in many ways, the counterpart to Section 28, which deals with serious and wilful misconduct of the Employer.
Historically, both sections are rarely applied because of the high thresholds in making a determination/ruling that the conduct in question rises to the level of “serious and wilful.” In many ways, the conduct must rise above mere negligence, or even gross negligence, and must be almost to the level of quasi-criminal in nature. In other words, the conduct in question usually must be quite severe to be considered “serious and wilful” per these Sections.