Off-premises injury fails to produce comp for hotel project manager
Case name: Mleczko v. Haynes Construction Co., et al., No. AC 29049 (Conn. App. Ct. 12/23/08).
Ruling: The Connecticut Appellate Court upheld the dismissal of an employee's claim for workers' compensation benefits. The employee's injuries, which occurred when he was struck by a car while crossing the street, did not arise out of or in the course of his employment.
What it means:
Where an employee's injuries occur after he has left the employer's premises and while he is crossing a public highway, he is not entitled to workers' compensation benefits unless he establishes that he was fulfilling employment duties when the accident occurred.
A manager for a hotel project was notified that there was a leak in one of the hotel rooms. He called the superintendent of a roofing company to have someone attend to the leak. After other calls were made, the project manager was notified that the source of the leak had been found and the problem was resolved. The manager left the employer's premises and went to a nearby restaurant, where he ate and consumed alcohol. After leaving the restaurant, he was struck by a car as he crossed a public highway. He sought workers' compensation benefits for his multiple injuries, contending that he was engaged in work-related activities when the accident occurred.
The Appellate Court upheld the dismissal of his claim. The manager was aware that the leak had been fixed and that there was no reason for him to return to the employer's office that night. The court concluded that he was "doing something having no connection with the duties of employment" when he crossed the street.
March 2, 2009
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