Kansas: Court of Appeals Errs in Finding Employee’s Claim Barred, as Matter of Law, by Going and Coming Rule

Kansas: Court of Appeals Errs in Finding Employee’s Claim Barred, as Matter of Law, by Going and Coming Rule

Finding that the evidence on whether an injured employee was at work or leaving work at the time of his injury “was not amenable to only one factual finding,” the Supreme Court of Kansas held the state’s Court of Appeals erred when it decided, as a matter of law, that the employee’s claim was barred by the going and coming rule.  The Supreme Court observed that the state’s Workers’ Compensation Board had determined that although the employee, a member of an oil drilling crew, was not paid wages when traveling from his home to whatever site the crew was working on, nor was he reimbursed for his mileage expense if he drove his own vehicle, the job nevertheless required travel to ever-changing locations. The Board indicated that when travel was inherent to or an integral part of the job, the going and coming rule did not apply. The Supreme Court indicated the Court of Appeals was correct in saying the facts in the case were undisputed; that did not mean, however, that those established facts were supportive of only one finding as a matter of law.  The high court said the Court of Appeals had “crossed a line” from evaluating the evidence in light of the record as a whole and examining whether the Board’s fact-finding was supported.  There was substantial competent evidence to support the Board's finding that the tire blowout occurred while Williams was in the course and scope of his employment, i.e., during travel intrinsic to his duties for employer.

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 Williams v. Petromark Drilling, LLC, 2014 Kan. LEXIS 270 (June 6, 2014) [2014 Kan. LEXIS 270 (June 6, 2014)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 14.01 [14.01]

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

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