The New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers at the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm helped their client, an Amazon employee, obtain workers’ compensation benefits after he suffered life-threatening injuries in a random shooting incident during a lunch break at work.

An Essex County workers’ compensation judge ordered Amazon to pay the employee for all his medical expenses and past and current wages upon determining he was injured during the course of his employment. The Todd J. Leonard Law Firm fought a two-year legal battle to obtain the favorable ruling after Amazon denied the work accident was compensable and refused to provide the injured worker with workers’ compensation benefits. Trial attorney Paul G. Paravati, Esq., successfully argued that Amazon was responsible for the employee’s injuries under New Jersey workers’ compensation law.

“The Todd J. Leonard Law Firm is committed to protecting our clients’ rights to recover benefits under the New Jersey workers’ compensation statute,” said Mr. Paravati. “This case is a significant win, not just for Amazon employees, but all New Jersey workers because it reinforces their right to compensation for workplace injuries that occur during break times.”

The Todd J. Leonard Law Firm’s client was employed at an Amazon warehouse when he was injured on October 11, 2020. The employee was smoking a cigarette during his lunch break while sitting a few feet from the warehouse entrance. An unknown individual shot him several times in the arm and chest, causing life-threatening injuries and temporarily putting him in a coma.

Amazon refused to accept the injured employee’s workers’ compensation claim even though the shooting had occurred just a few feet from its warehouse entrance in an area where workers had been directed to smoke. The employer denied him vital medical treatment and temporary wage benefits.

In her opinion, the judge found that Amazon maintained control of a public sidewalk near the warehouse. The company had created a “de facto” smoking area by placing a large ashtray, garbage can, and welcome sign there and informing employees that they could smoke in the area.

A police investigation found no link between the employee and the third party that committed the criminal act. The Amazon worker’s injuries were compensable as they arose from a random shooting and were a neutral risk of the job.

The personal injury lawyers at the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm are dedicated to helping workers who are seriously injured in a work-related accident. With over 30 years of experience handling workers’ compensation claims, the firm will fight to protect employee rights and obtain the benefits that clients deserve. Call (973) 920-7900 for a free case evaluation or visit

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