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James B. Biggs
James B. Biggs
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Kansas Workers Compensation "Going & Coming" Rule Analyzed

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Recently, the Kansas Court of Appeals addressed the premises exception to the going and coming rule and found in favor of the employer. In Rinke v. Bank of America, Docket No. 93, 868 (October 21, 2005), an employee was injured in the parking lot outside the building where she worked. The building and the parking lot were owned by a third party and the employer leased 727 of the 747 parking spaces for bank employees.

The Court stated that the “going and coming” rule of K.S.A. 44-508(f) provides that injuries sustained while the employee is on his or her way to assume the duties of employment or after leaving such employment are not considered to have arisen out of and in the course of employment and therefore are not compensable.

The “premises” exception to this rule provides that an employee is not considered assuming or leaving employment duties if the employee is on the premises of the employer atthe time of the accident. The Kansas Supreme Court has defined “premises” as “not restricted to the permanent site of the statutory employer’s business nor limited to property owend or leased by him but contemplates any place under the exclusive control of the employer where his usual business is being carried out or conducted.” Thompson v. Law Offices of Allen Joseph, 19 Kan. App. 2d 367, 372, 869 P.2d 761, aff’d 256 Kan. 36, 833 P.2d 768 (1994).

Here the Court found the issue to be “control,” and concluded that the employer did not control the parking lot and therefore the claimant did not fall under the premises exception to the going and coming rule. In analogizing with Thompson, the Court noted that although the bank had leased parking spaces, the third party was responsible for maintenance, enforcement, and security. Furthermore, bank employees did not have parking stickers or designated parking spaces adn there was no evidence that bank directed its employees to park in the lot. Finally, the Court ruled that the injured employee was subjected to no greater risk than the general public who used the parking lot.

To read the full opinion for this case link to: http://www.kscourts.org/kscases/ctapp/2005/20051021/93868.htm