Case name: New York State Comptroller's Office, 111 NYWCLR 192 (N.Y.W.C.B. 2011).
Ruling: The New York Workers' Compensation Board held that an accountant established her claim for an ankle injury sustained when she slipped and fell on black ice in a parking lot prior to the start of her workday.
What it means: In New York, even where some members of the public could encounter a dangerous condition, if the general public would not be exposed to that condition, the condition may still be deemed a special hazard.
The board held that an accountant for the state established her claim for an ankle injury sustained when she slipped and fell on black ice in a parking lot prior to the start of her workday. The state made arrangements for her to park in the lot. The board found that the risk encountered by the accountant in the parking lot was a "special hazard" because the lot was not available for use by the general public during the daytime hours of the workweek.
Although an arena adjacent to the parking lot used a portion of the parking lot on two occasions during the year that she parked in the lot, the accountant's testimony indicated that the blocked-off area of the lot was not available to the general public. Furthermore, there was no evidence that anyone other than state employees were parking in the lot on the morning of the accountant's fall on black ice. She slipped in a lot designated for employee use by the state and in an area in close association with the state's premises.
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December 1, 2011
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