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A motor vehicle accident while traveling home from a company celebration with co-workers was not in the course and scope of claimant’s employment.

October 1, 2019
Jonathan Peters v. WCAB (Cintas Corporation); 1835 C.D. 2017; July 18, 2019; Judge Covey

On appeal to the Commonwealth Court, the claimant argued that he was in the course and scope of his employment at the time of the accident because he was a traveling employee on his way home from a work-sponsored event. The court noted that a traveling employee is entitled to a presumption that he is in the course and scope of employment when traveling to or from work. The court further noted that in other workers’ compensation cases involving motor vehicle accidents where compensability was found, the claimants were not in the vicinity of their homes when they stopped at the end of their work days and their homeward trips were a necessary part of their business excursions.

The court found this case to be distinguishable because the claimant left his work vicinity, passed his home in order to attend the celebration and was involved in an accident on the way home from that event. According to the court, the claimant’s “homeward trip” ended before the claimant traveled to the restaurant. Therefore, the claimant’s travel home from the restaurant could not be considered in the course and scope of his employment. The court further affirmed the workers’ compensation judge’s finding that the celebration was a social gathering and did not further the interests of the employer. 

 

Case Law Alerts, 4th Quarter, October 2019

Case Law Alerts is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to create an attorney-client relationship. Copyright © 2019 Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, all rights reserved. This article may not be reprinted without the express written permission of our firm.

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