Minnesota: High Court Stresses Employee Must Prove Both “Arising out of” and “In the Course of” Employment to Establish Claim

Minnesota: High Court Stresses Employee Must Prove Both “Arising out of” and “In the Course of” Employment to Establish Claim

A deeply divided Supreme Court of Minnesota recently held that the plain language of Minn. Stat. § 176.021 requires the employee to demonstrate that the injury arises out of and in the course of the employment, that in order to establish a claim the employee bears the burden of proof on both the “arising out of” and the “in the course of” elements; the statute does not leave room for the so-called “work-connection” test—erroneously applied by the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals—that relaxes that burden simply because the injury occurred during the work day or on the employer's premise.  The majority indicated that the work-connection test would improperly allow a court to consider the statutory elements as alternatives—that is, to balance the two factors against each other in a fashion that could relieve the employee of the burden of proof on one element if there was strong evidence of the other element.  Three justices, quoting Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, dissented.

Reported by Thomas A. Robinson, J.D.

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

See Dykhoff v. Xcel Energy, 2013 Minn. LEXIS 777 (Dec. 26, 2013) [2013 Minn. LEXIS 777 (Dec. 26, 2013)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 3.03, 29.01 [3.03, 29.01]

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

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