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Workers' Compensation

Texas: Death Benefits Allowed For Deputy's Fatal Accident After Extra-duty Assignment

The Supreme Court of Texas held that a deputy sheriff fatal auto accident, as he traveled home in his assigned patrol car following an extra-duty assignment for a private employer, was nevertheless within the course and scope of the employment and his survivors were entitled to death benefits. The court noted that at the time of the accident the officer was using the patrol car pursuant to specific permission he had been given by the county. Accordingly, the officer was engaged in law enforcement activities at the time of his death. The court acknowledged that the going and coming rule applied generally to the fact pattern, but also noted that one of the exceptions applied as well. The court said the key question was whether the deceased's activity — his authorized operation of a marked patrol car on the roads of El Paso County at the time of his death — satisfied the basic test for course and scope of the employment. The Court concluded that it did.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the 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 Orozco v. City of El Paso, 2020 Tex. LEXIS 235 (Mar. 20, 2020)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 15.01.

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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