Man Murdered at Work: Will Workers' Compensation Apply?

In a tragic event that made national headlines, a man was brutally murdered during his shift at a 7-Eleven in Hillsborough County. The man, who was 54 years old, was manning the shop alone when his attacker entered. Security footage shows the attacker walking into the store and entering the restroom, allegedly waiting for the store to empty of all but the clerk. At that point, the attacker came out of the restroom and hid in an aisle. The clerk did not suspect that anyone was still in the store.

As soon as the unsuspecting man walked by the aisle where the killer hid, he attacked using a knife to stab the victim repeatedly. Security cameras from the shop, which caught the whole bloody ordeal, show the killer stopping to take a handful of lottery tickets before leaving the store where the man lay bleeding. A few minutes after the attack, a frequent customer was pumping gas when he found the clerk near death in the store. Although he was rushed to the hospital, doctors were unable to save him.

Police apprehended three suspects within the following 12 hours. Two of the young men are suspected accomplices and the last one is suspected of committing the act. Investigators tracked their whereabouts using information from the lottery tickets that were taken from the store and later cashed by the suspects. There are no known links between the suspected killer and the deceased victim, whose family is perplexed at why anyone would want to kill or even hurt their loved one.

Since the incident happened at the man's place of employment and while his shift was ongoing, his death qualifies a fatal workplace injury. Regardless of the fact that the work environment was not necessarily to blame for his death, the family of the victim may file with his employer in order to recover workers' compensation death benefits. According to Florida Statute 440.16, the employer is responsible for funeral expenses up to $7,500 among other benefits that apply to on-the-job deaths.

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