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Workers' Compensation

South Carolina: Using “Bunkhouse Rule,” Court Affirms Award of Death Benefits to Murdered Motel Employee

Applying the so-called “bunkhouse rule,” a South Carolina appellate court affirmed a decision by the Appellate Panel of the South Carolina Court of Appeals that had awarded death benefits to the children of a motel worker who was shot and killed, along with her husband, in an apparent robbery at the motel. Noting that the deceased employee was required to live on the motel’s premises and be subject to call day or night, the Court indicated there was no evidence that the fatal assault had been privately motivated. The deceased employee was wearing her uniform and a name tag at the time of the murders. The motel was adjacent to an interstate highway. All these factors allowed the Commission to award death benefits upon a finding that the employee had been in the course and scope of her employment at the time of the murder.

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

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Patel v. BVM Motel, LLC, 2021 S.C. App. LEXIS 31 (Mar. 31, 2021)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 24.03.

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

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see

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