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James B. Biggs
James B. Biggs
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Worker Injured While Running Errand Wins At Kansas Court Of Appeals

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The Kansas Court of Appeals has found that a worker who was injured in a auto accident, after he had left his job to retrive a set of work keys at home, has suffered an injury compensable under the Kansas Workers Compensation Act.

In Ridenour v. Kenneth R. Johnson, Inc., Docket No. 94,149 (December 16, 2005), the Court of Appeals addressed the work-related errand/special-purpose trip exception to the going and coming rule. The exception to provides that injuries incurred while going and coming from places where work-related tasks occur can be compensable where the traveling is required in order to complete some special work-related errand or special-purpose trip in the scope of employment.

Here, the claimant was responsible for supervising a five-man crew at a Kansas City warehouse. When claimant arrived at the workplace on the day of the accident to unlock the warehouse, he discovered he had left his keys at home. Claimant decided to drive home and get his keys because his crew were hourly employees and were being paid even though they could not begin work. Claimant left the work place and returned to his house where he obtained his keys. On the return trip back to the warehouse he was injured in an automobile collision.

The respondent argued claimant’s trip merely was a non-work-related excuse to ride his motorcycle and that claimant had never initally arrived at work before the accident occurred. Ultimately, the court noted the issue is whether there is substantial competent evidence to support the Board’s findings and held that claimant’s trip was a business errand and that claimant had authority to run such errands.

To read the entire decision in this matter link to http://www.kscourts.org/kscases/ctapp/2005/20051216/94149.htm