North Carolina: Flight Attendant’s Injuries on Airport Bus Not Barred By Going and Coming Rule

In an as yet unpublished opinion, the Court of Appeals of North Carolina has affirmed a decision by the state’s Industrial Commission that awarded workers’ compensation benefits in connection with injuries sustained by an airline flight attendant as she was being transported in a crowded airport employee shuttle bus to an employee parking lot located some two miles from the airport.  The attendant was standing shoulder to shoulder with other airport workers when the driver suddenly applied the bus brakes, causing her to fall forward.  A piece of luggage struck her and another worker fell on top of her.  The airline contended that under the going and coming rule, the accident did not occur within the course and scope of the employment. The Commission found, and the appellate court agreed, that the attendant could recover under both (a) the “only means of ingress or egress” or “special hazards” exception and (b) the "provision of transportation" exception to the coming and going rule.  Evidence indicated that the airline contracted with the City of Charlotte for use of the parking lot, that the attendant was not permitted to park at other closer locations, that the airline knew and approved of its employees using the bus to travel between the lot and the airport terminal and that, in fact, the bus was the only practical means of transportation for the flight attendant. The Commission’s decision was supported by competent evidence.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is a leading commentator and expert on the law of workers’ compensation.

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. Bracketed citations link to lexis.com.

See Skoff v. U.S. Airways, Inc., 2014 N.C. App. LEXIS 588 (June 3, 2014) [2014 N.C. App. LEXIS 588 (June 3, 2014)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 13.01 [13.01]

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law.

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