Lane v. Emergency Veterinary Clinic, No. 2073-12-4 (Va. Ct. App. 04/23/13).
Ruling: The Virginia Court of Appeals held that a receptionist was not entitled to benefits for her fall in a parking lot.
What it means: In Virginia, if an accident occurs outside of the employer's premises, the worker's injuries can be compensable if the location of the accident is considered an extension of the employer's premises.
Summary: A receptionist for a veterinary clinic slipped and fell on black ice in the parking lot after she finished her shift. She sustained injuries to her right leg. The clinic did not assign parking spaces to employees. Employees could park in the parking lot outside the building, a parking garage, or on the street.
The clinic kept the surrounding sidewalks clear, but it was not responsible for the parking lot or the nearby streets. Members of the public also used the parking lot. The receptionist filed a workers' compensation claim. The Virginia Court of Appeals held that she was not entitled to benefits.
The court found that the receptionist's injury did not occur in the course of her employment. The injury occurred in a parking lot that members of the public used. The receptionist was free to park wherever she pleased. She did not have a reserved parking space. The court found that the parking lot did not constitute a part of the clinic's premises. Also, the clinic did not exercise any control or authority over where she parked.
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July 22, 2013
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