Nash Brothers Oil Distribution, 112 NYWCLR 144 (N.Y.W.C.B., Full Board 2012).
Ruling: The New York Workers' Compensation Board held that a service technician's back injury, sustained in a motor vehicle accident while driving the employer's van on his morning commute, did not arise out of and in the course of employment.
What it means:
In New York, an employer's act of providing permission on one occasion for a worker to take home the employer's vehicle does not raise the issue of whether the employer had a frequent and regular practice of providing transportation to its employees so as to render the claimant's accident on his morning commute to work compensable.
Summary: A service technician sustained a back injury in a motor vehicle accident while driving the employer's van on his morning commute to get his work assignments for the day. He received permission from the employer to take the van home the previous day. The board found the employer did not exercise the requisite control over the technician at the time of the accident to create a causal nexus between the employment and his accident. The technician was not on-call, was not running any errand for the employer, and was engaged in his routine commute to the employer's premises to receive his work assignments. Furthermore, the technician conceded that the employer did not obtain a benefit from him keeping the vehicle overnight.
Also, the record did not show that the risk of accident was increased by the technician's use of the employer's vehicle. The technician's testimony that on one specific occasion his request to take the employer's vehicle home overnight was granted does not raise the issue that the employer had a "frequent and regular practice of providing transportation" to its employees.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
November 19, 2012
Copyright 2012© LRP Publications