A federal appeals court says an Oregon longshoreman who got drunk on the job, urinated while standing on a dock and then fell 6 feet onto concrete should not get workers' compensation benefits for his injuries.
Gary Schwirse drank at least nine beers and half of a pint of whiskey on Jan. 8, 2006.
According to court documents, Schwirse drank two beers before going to work at 8 a.m. Then, between 8 a.m. and noon, he drank three more beers. At lunch, he drank an additional four to five beers. Finally, between the end of lunch and the end of the workday at about 4 p.m., Schwirse drank more than half a pint of whiskey.
When he went to relieve himself near the bull rail of the dock, he fell over the rail and onto a concrete and steel ledge six feet below.
Schwirse was taken to a hospital, where he registered a .25 blood-alcohol level. He also tested positive for cannabis and was diagnosed with a severe scalp laceration to his right temple.
He sued for workers' compensation benefits and at first was victorious, when an administrative law judge ruled that workplace hazards had been a factor in his fall.
But the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Schwirse's injuries were due solely to intoxication and his employers could not be held responsible.
Copyright 2013 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. The Associated Press contributed to this report.