Case name: Gaiski v. Progress Avenue Exxon, Inc., No. A09-1069 (Pa. W.C.A.B. 2010).
Ruling: The Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Appeal Board upheld the workers' compensation judge's grant of the claimant's claim petition, finding that his slip and fall occurred in the course of employment.
What it means: The key issue in determining whether an employee is in the course of employment is whether the employee is injured while actually engaged in the furtherance of the employer's business or affairs.
Summary: The claimant was employed part-time performing towing and jobs around the employer's shop. Even when he was "off the clock" he was "on call" as a tow truck operator. On one of the tow jobs the claimant accepted, he slipped and fell on ice while walking to his vehicle. As a result of the accident, he required decompression surgery on his spinal cord. The WCJ granted his claim petition, finding that he was in the course and scope of his employment when he sustained his injury. The board upheld the decision. The claimant was on call at the time he sustained his injury. He accepted a towing job which would financially benefit the employer. Because his activities furthered the employer's business, the WCJ correctly concluded that the claimant was in the course and scope of his employment.
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June 21, 2010
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