Maryland: Employee’s Injuries Sustained While Dancing in Night Club Were Compensable

Maryland: Employee’s Injuries Sustained While Dancing in Night Club Were Compensable

A Maryland appellate court, reversing a decision of the state’s Workers’ Compensation Commission that in turn had been affirmed by a state trial court, held compensable a claim filed by a traveling employee who sustained injuries when he slipped on some liquid that had been spilled onto a dance floor at a nightclub and lounge located within his hotel.  Noting that at the time of the injury, the employee was off the clock and citing Mulready v. University Research, 360 Md. 51 (2000), in which the Supreme Court of Maryland had quoted extensively from the discussion of traveling employees found in Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the appellate court found that the employer had at least constructive notice that its traveling employees would make use of the entire facility at the hotel, including the lounge and nightclub.  The court noted that there was no evidence that the employee had been intoxicated at the time of the injury.  The court also said that because the employee was required to stay at the hotel for over a week, his employer could not expect that he would remain in his hotel room when he was not working and refrain from engaging in recreational facilities.  Acknowledging that the rule used for traveling employees was “substantially the positional risk test,” the court held that an employee who engages in reasonable and foreseeable recreational activities when injured is entitled to recover workers' compensation benefits for the injuries because such recreational activities are "reasonably incident to travel."

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 Gravette v. Visual Aids Electronics, 2014 Md. App. LEXIS 35 (Apr. 29, 2014) [2014 Md. App. LEXIS 35 (Apr. 29, 2014)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 25.01 [25.01]

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

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