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The board grants the claimant's petition and determines that the claimant was within the course and scope of her employment when she fell on aircraft steps while attending a business conference in Ireland.

October 1, 2010
Felecia Morinelli v. Blue Cross Blue Shield Of DE, (Iab # 1335306) Decided 4/13/10

The issue presented was whether the claimant's fall down an aircraft stairway during a trip to Ireland to attend a business conference sponsored by a third party vendor of the employer constituted an injury within the course and scope of her employment. The claimant was an account executive in sales and marketing. The employer also marketed products of the third party vendor. In 2007, the claimant and a few other employees were invited by the vendor to attend a conference in Ireland for having exceeded the sales goals. On June 20, 2007, after flying to Ireland, the claimant fell and was injured on the metal steps when exiting the aircraft. The evidence showed that a director of the employer approved the claimant's attendance and that the claimant did not pay her travel costs. She was also paid her regular salary during the trip. The employer showed that her participation was not required and that they had no control over the trip or the program. The Board concluded that the injury was compensable as the trip was entirely for business purposes related to the marketing of employer's insurance products. The Board also reasoned that the employer had endorsed the claimant's attendance, paid her regular salary during the trip, and did not require the claimant to take vacation leave.

Case Law Alert - 4th Qtr 2010

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