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Wisconsin: Injuries Sustained in Car Crash After Drinking Spree Were Within Scope of Employment

May 19, 2016 (1 min read)

Injuries sustained by a sales manager for a beverage distributor in an auto accident as he and a co-employee returned home at 1:00 a.m., after delivering beer more than six hours earlier to one of their employer’s restaurant customers, and also after consuming more than 10 drinks in other locations arose out of and in the course of the sales manager’s employment. Accordingly, he could not maintain a negligence action against the co-employee, held a Wisconsin appellate court. The accident left the sales manager paralyzed. He contended that when he and his co-employee left the restaurant after delivering the beer (and having two drinks), the workday was over and that the accident could not be considered within the course and scope of the employment. The appellate court disagreed, noting that the drinking spree had assuredly been a deviation, but the deviation ended when they stopped drinking and began a direct trip home. That trip home was brought about by the original delivery of the beer to the restaurant, a work-related activity. The trial court properly granted the co-employee summary judgment in the negligence case.

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 Ninedorf v. Joyal, 2016 Wisc. App. LEXIS 297 (May 17, 2016)

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

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