A court has upheld a worker's compensation award for an exotic dancer who was injured while performing on a pole at a strip club.
The Indiana Court of Appeals on Tuesday not only ruled in favor of Angela Hobson, it ordered the state Worker's Compensation Board to review the case to determine if she was entitled to double compensation.
Court records said Hobson suffered neck pain and numbness after injuring herself while dancing on a pole at the Shangri-La West club in Fort Wayne on Dec. 20, 2001, and later underwent surgery for a herniated disc in her cervical spine.
Hobson said she reported her injury to her employers, but they later denied knowledge of the injury. She filed a worker's compensation claim in 2003.
The state worker's compensation board in 2006 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 Indiana 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.
The Associated Press left a phone message Tuesday seeking comment from attorney Samuel Bolinger, who represents Wholesalers Inc., the company that does business as Shangri-La.