yes 941500 640

How the Court Ruled

07 Jun, 2023 Chris Parker

yes 941500 640

If you chose A, you sided with the court in Pernice v. Harlan Elec. Co., No. 534832 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. App. Div. 06/01/23), which concluded that the electrician was acting with the scope of his employment when his coworker ran him over.

While the court noted that the electrician violated company drinking polices when he went out to lunch, it was not his reportedly minimal drinking that caused the accident, but his colleague’s intoxication.

Workers' Comp 101: Most of the time, booze and workers' compensation don't mix. For example, in Dawson v. S.P.F. Carting Co., 259 A.D. 2d 910 (N.Y. App. Div. 1999), a sanitation truck driver conceded that he had been drinking “wine and liquor” before reporting for work at 5 a.m. on the day of the accident, a co-worker testified that the driver had been driving so erratically prior to the accident that the co-worker attempted to take the truck's ignition key away from the driver, and a breathalyzer test showed the driver had a blood alcohol content of 0.298 percent. Thus, the driver could not collect benefits for the back injury he experienced related to the accident that occurred when, while traveling at a high rate of speed, the driver failed to negotiate a left turn and the truck tipped over. 

The court reasoned that:
--> The electrician remained on standby status when he was at the lunch;
--> The electrician was not engaged in the prohibited activities at the time of the accident; and
--> The electrician’s drinking did not result in the accident or render him unable to perform his work duties.
--> The court affirmed the workers’ compensation board’s finding that the worker suffered a compensable injury.

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