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North Carolina: Fatal Auto Accident Not in Course and Scope of Employment

October 27, 2017 (1 min read)

A North Carolina appellate court affirmed the denial of workers’ compensation death benefits to the dependents of an employee, who worked as a supervisor for a public nonprofit agency and who sustained fatal injuries in a one-vehicle accident in an employer-owned vehicle that occurred during working hours, but some 30 miles from his place of employment. The dependents contended that the deceased must either have been on his way to a private physician to obtain medical records for an employer-required physical or else on his way to pick up necessary supplies for the employer. The Commission, in a divided decision, held that the dependents failed to show a causal connection between the accident and the employment. The appellate court agreed, noting that on only one occasion in the previous six years had the deceased obtained materials or supplies outside the immediate area and further, there was no actual evidence that the deceased intended to check with his physician. The trip amounted to a personal errand, for which no compensation benefits could be awarded.

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

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Martin v. Orange Water & Sewer Auth., 2017 N.C. App. LEXIS 886 (Oct. 17, 2017)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 17.03.

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