No workers' comp for parking lot fall.


Byline: Eric T. Berkman

An employee was not entitled to workers' compensation benefits for injuries suffered when, shortly after completing her shift, she slipped and fell in a parking lot leased by her employer, the Appellate Division of the Workers' Compensation Court has decided.

The trial judge had denied the claim under the "going-and-coming" rule, which precludes recovery for employee injuries that occur while traveling to and from the workplace.

Specifically, the trial judge found because the claimant had already punched out after her shift when she fell, and because the employer did not own or maintain the lot or control her route to her vehicle, the injury did not arise out of and in the course of her employment.

The Appellate Division affirmed.

"Although this court extends exceptions to the stringent going-and-coming rule, these exceptions are not warranted when the place of injury or the employee's activity is not controlled by the employer," Judge Debra L. Olsson wrote for the court. "The mere fact that an employee was injured after leaving a work shift does not render a worker's compensation claim compensable."

Arthur E. Chatfield III of East Providence represented the claimant. Lauren Motola-Davis of Providence was counsel for the respondent. Neither attorney could be reached for comment.

Claim denied

[box type="shadow" align="alignright" width="325px"]CASE: Brown v. KNC Management Enterprises, Inc., Lawyers Weekly No. 72-018-19 (16 pages)

COURT: Workers' Compensation Court Appellate Division

ISSUE: Was an employee entitled to workers' comp benefits for injuries suffered when, after completing her shift, she slipped and fell in a parking lot leased by her employer?

DECISION: No[/box]

Claimant Patricia Brown worked as a server at International House of Pancakes on Pleasant Valley Parkway in Providence.

IHOP and a Burger King franchise sit side by side on the same parcel of land.

A property management company, Jan Companies, owned the land on which the restaurants are located, as well as the buildings that house them and the entire parking lot surrounding them.

Respondent KNC Management Enterprises, which operated IHOP, leased its building from Jan Cos. Under the terms of its lease, all areas of the parcel except the buildings were designated as common areas.

According to the real estate manager for Jan Cos., the property owner had a contract with another entity, Baxter Trucking Co., for snow removal in the parking lot.


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