When Irish Eyes Are Smiling: Delaware IAB Smiles On Claimant Holding Trip To Ireland Is In Course & Scope



By Cassandra Roberts, Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor 

A possible case of first impression? The latest ruling from the Delaware Industrial Accident Board on the issue of course and scope was brought to my attention by colleague Stephen Morrow, representing the claimant in a case involving a paid junket to Ireland.  The claimant was an employee of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware ("BCBS") who was offered a four-day conference in Dublin, Ireland by Fort Dearborn Insurance Company, a plan partner of BCBS.  Upon arrival, claimant fell down metal steps while leaving the aircraft.

Although not stated as such in the decision, the issue of whether a trip offered by a third-party vendor of the employer is in course and scope may be an issue of first impression.  Cases of this nature tend to turn on their specific facts. The facts in Steve's case render the outcome none too surprising in the opinion of this humble blogger. Of  particular note: the employer approved claimant's participation in the conference, paid her wages during attendance at the conference and did not require the use of vacation or sick time, and also reimbursed her for any out-of-pocket expenses incurred during the conference.  The fact that the third-party vendor controlled the trip arrangements and agenda and covered its expense was deemed not dispositive to the pivotal issue, with the Board thus holding that this was a work-related event entitled to coverage under the Act.

And that's no blarney!

For more details, see Felicia Morinelli v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware, IAB Hrg. # 1335306 (4/13/10).

A workers' comp law blog by Cassandra Roberts

This post is provided by LexisNexis Workers' Compensation Law Community. 


© Copyright 2010 LexisNexis Workers' Compensation Law Community


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