Workplace bus (symbolic image)
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It is not considered an accident at work if an aggressive bus driver is seriously injured in a fight with a cyclist - especially not if he has »used his bus as a 'weapon' against a cyclist«: Then »he leaves the insured activity «, As the Landessozialgericht (LSG) North Rhine-Westphalia decided in a judgment announced on Tuesday, which had already been issued in September 2020 (file number L 17 U 626/16).
The incident took place in Aachen in May 2015.
Because it was raining heavily, a cyclist took the bus home.
When a woman with a stroller wanted to get on at a bus stop, the bus driver asked the 20-year-old to get off the bike for a moment.
When the wife and child got on the bus drove off.
The cyclist stopped in the rain - and probably responded with an insulting tirade.
Then he continued to ride his bike.
Slowed down by bus
On the further way, bus and bike riders met several times. As the “Aachener Zeitung” reported at the time, the bus driver asked the 20-year-old to stop and “clarify something.” But the cyclist did not. The 53-year-old bus driver then used the bus to slow the man down. The bus driver got out - and "a wild brawl" began, as passengers reported to the police: with kicks on the stomach and a punch in the face with the bicycle helmet. A cobblestone flying towards the cyclist did not hit; When the cyclist finally suspected that the 53-year-old wanted to take his bike away from him, the younger man took a run and jumped into the opponent's back. After that, the bus driver remained motionless on the ground with severe head injuries, and the cyclist dialed the emergency number.
The bus driver wanted compensation for the incident as an accident at work.
But the employers' liability insurance association refused.
Rightly so, as the higher instance, the Regional Social Court, decided after the Aachen Social Court.
The necessary factual connection between the insured activity and the fight is already missing.
The object of the insured activity is namely to bring the passengers to the designated stops as safely and punctually as possible with the bus entrusted to him.
The bus driver left the ground of this activity when he used his bus as a "weapon" to bring the cyclist to a stop.
The subsequent physical dispute was not insured.
This applies in terms of content, but also spatially: the driver had left his place of work.
The LSG noted in its judgment that the whole thing certainly did not serve the operational interests of his employer.
mh / JurAgentur