INDIANAPOLIS – An Indiana appeals court upheld a worker's compensation award Tuesday for an exotic dancer who was injured while performing on a pole at a strip club.
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Angela Hobson and ordered the state Worker's Compensation Board to determine if she was entitled to double compensation.
Hobson claimed she suffered neck pain and numbness after injuring herself while dancing at the Shangri-La West club in Fort Wayne on Dec. 20, 2001. She underwent surgery for a herniated disc in her cervical spine, according to court records.
Hobson said she reported her injury to her employers, but they later denied knowledge of the injury.
In 2006, the compensation board awarded her temporary total disability benefits and other compensation totaling more than $10,000 and found that Shangri-La did not have a worker's compensation policy and was not approved as a self-insurer.
Shangri-La appealed, arguing that the board erred when it found Hobson more credible than its witnesses. But the court declined to reweigh the evidence and upheld the original award, adding a 5 percent increase due to the passage of time.
The court also instructed the board to determine whether Hobson was entitled to double compensation due in part to the allegation that Shangri-La violated state law by not having worker's compensation insurance.
Dino Zurzolo, who owned the club at the time, said the lack of worker's compensation insurance at the time was a temporary oversight due to a missed payment.
A phone message left late Tuesday for attorney Samuel Bolinger, who represents Wholesalers Inc., the company that does business as Shangri-La, was not immediately returned.