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Flight attendant not eligible for comp for post-dinner fall

Flight attendant not eligible for comp for post-dinner fall

An Ohio-based flight attendant who injured herself in a fall following a dinner out while on a layover in New York is not eligible for workers compensation, as she was ruled by the Court of Appeals in Ohio’s Second District to have been on an “personal errand at the time of her injury,” according to the Friday ruling out of a courthouse in Dayton, Ohio.

The ruling upholds a judgment by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, which dismissed plaintiff Aysha Osten’s appeal that she was eligible for benefits.

On Jan. 27, 2016, while employed by Vandalia, Ohio-based PSA Airlines Inc., Ms. Osten completed her flight for the day at about 12:30 p.m. and checked into a Hampton Inn located near LaGuardia Airport in New York, according to court documents. That evening, after going to dinner with other PSA employees, she fell on a public sidewalk while returning to the hotel and sustained injuries to her wrists and knees, records state.

“Osten applied for (workers comp) and was initially approved for benefits based on contusions of the wrists and knees. However, on April 14, 2016, a district hearing officer vacated the order of the administrator and denied benefits to Osten. The decision was based on a conclusion that the injury occurred in the course of Osten's own errand, not on an errand of PSA, and that the errand was not sufficiently connected to Osten's employment,” documents state.

The ruling cites case law that found “even if one assumes that traveling employees are ‘in the course of’ their employment during travel, they are not entitled to coverage unless the injury also arises out of their employment. As has been indicated in various cases, personal errands do not meet this standard,” the ruling states.

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