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Workers' Compensation

New York: Worker Recovers Benefits Under Special "Gray Area" Rule

Construing New York’s so-called “gray area” rule, which allows recovery of workers’ compensation benefits under circumstances that might otherwise be barred by the going and coming rule, a state appellate court affirmed a determination by the Board that awarded benefits to a hospital employee who was struck by a vehicle as he crossed a road near the hospital’s loading dock. Acknowledging that injuries that occur outside of working hours and in public areas away from the workplace generally are not compensable, the court applied the gray area rule, which allows awards if (1) there was a special hazard at the particular off-premises point, and (2) a close association of the access route existed with the premises, permitting the conclusion that the accident happened as an incident and risk of employment. Here, the employee, a food service employee, typically entered the hospital in the area of the loading dock, which was along a public highway that was typically busy. One co-employee testified that workers often had to run in order to cross the street at that point. Sufficient evidence supported the Board’s award, held the appellate court.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the co-Editor-in-Chief and Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. 

See Matter of Cadme v. FOJP Serv. Corp., 2021 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4636 (3d Dept. July 22, 2021)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 13.02.

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

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see

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