Said differently, a man was awarded workers' compensation for injuries he sustained from slipping on ice in a parking lot when he was leaving work. 

While the ALJ denied the employee's claim, finding his knee injury to be non-compensable under the Workers' Compensation Act, the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission disagreed.  The commission found that because Scholastic controls the parking lot on which the employee fell, the injury was compensable under the "extended premises" provision of the Act.  The Commission also found that the employee's injury arose out of a hazard or risk related to his employment to which he would not have been equally exposed in his normal nonemployment life.

The Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, agreed with the Commission in both respects and addressed at some length the 'extended premises' doctrine (codified to some extent in the amended version of § 287.020.5), as well as the nature of injuries which arise out of and the course of employment under § 287.020.3(2).

Court summary:

As David Viley was leaving his place of employment at Scholastic, Inc., he injured his right knee when he slipped and fell in the parking lot on the way to his vehicle. The Labor and Industrial Relations Commission determined that Viley's injury was compensable under the Missouri Workers' Compensation Act and awarded benefits. Scholastic appeals the Commission's award.

Affirmed.

Division Four holds:

The Commission did not err in concluding that Viley's injury "arose out of and in the course of" his employment, and thus was compensable under the Workers' Compensation Act, based on its findings that:

  1. the "extended premises" provision in section 287.020.5, RSMo, applied to the parking lot where Viley's injury occurred because the evidence established that Scholastic "controlled" that parking lot; and
  2. the injury did "not come from a hazard or risk unrelated to the employment to which [Viley] would have been equally exposed outside of and unrelated to the employment in [his] normal nonemployment life" (§287.020.3(2)(b), RSMo). Viley was injured because he was at work, and nothing in the record supported a conclusion that he was equally exposed to the hazard of slipping and falling on that particular icy parking lot in his nonemployment life.

10/28/14

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