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A man who was injured in a car accident while riding to lunch with his supervisor is not eligible for workers compensation, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York ruled Thursday.
Thomas Scriven was working for David Ulmer Sprinkler Co. in 2015 when he suffered “various injuries,” for which he sought workers compensation, arguing that lunch with his supervisor was part of his job. While both a state workers compensation law judge and a panel with the state Workers’ Compensation Board determined the injuries were compensable because the lunch was considered a work function, an appeal to the full board resulted in a ruling that the injuries were not suffered in the scope of employment, according to documents in In the Matter of the Claim of Thomas A. Scriven v. Davis Ulmer Sprinkler Company et al., Workers' Compensation Board, filed in the appellate division’s Third Department in Albany.
On further appeal, the appeals court within the state Supreme Court affirmed, citing evidence Mr. Scriven was not paid during his lunch break and that he was not “obligated” to go to lunch with his supervisor, along with three co-workers.
“Although claimant testified that he believed his presence was obligatory, he largely corroborated the supervisor's version of events and confirmed that he was not paid during his lunch break,” the ruling states. “Although he asserted that he discussed work matters at lunch with the supervisor, he admitted that he did not know whether work would be discussed at lunch that day, and there is nothing in the record to indicate that the supervisor intended to do so such that his invitation could have had” an effect on his job.
A traveling employee who became paralyzed in a car accident that took place after he had dinner and a beer was not entitled to workers compensation, an appellate court held Tuesday.