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AQUA MASSAGE v. LABOR COMMISSION

   If an accident happens at the workplace, we all recognize that workers’ compensation is likely involved.  But in today’s world, the workplace is not always easy to recognize.  A recent unpublished decision from the Court of Appeals reminds us that people work at home. 

    In Aqua Massage v. Labor Commission, No. 20030965-CA, 1995 Ut App. (unpublished decision) Mr. Higgins was a manager for Aqua Massage which had kiosks in all the major malls.  Mr. Higgins would start each work day on the computer in his home office.  He would then load supplies into his car and travel to each mall to check on the kiosks.  On the day of the accident, there is a record that he made one entry into his computer.  While driving to the first mall, he was in a severe car accident resulting in coma and brain injury.  Although workers compensation generally does not cover injuries which occur while coming from or going to work, the Court of Appeals found Mr. Higgins was at work when he made the entry into his home office computer that morning.   Therefore, the accident occurred during travel between office locations, and not subject to the coming and going exception to workers compensation coverage.

Article by K. Dawn Atkin published in the UTLA Journal, Fall 2005.
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