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Janitor’s injuries in fall from shuttle are compensable


A janitorial worker who fell from a shuttle is entitled to workers compensation for his injuries, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court held Friday.

In Stewart v. Workers Compensation Appeal Board, the court reversed a Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Appeal Board’s ruling that the worker’s injuries did not occur in the course and scope of his employment.

Maurice Stewart was assigned by his employer to clean a building occupied by Glaxo Smith Kline in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. On April 6, 2018, while he was exiting a shuttle van operated by Glaxo Smith Klein at the entrance of the building to begin his shift, he fell and injured his left foot and ankle.

He sought workers compensation benefits, which were denied by his employer. A workers compensation judge and an appeal board affirmed the denial, holding that the janitorial services company had “no connection whatsoever” with its employees’ transportation to work and that as a result, the fall from the shuttle did not happen on company premises for the purposes of workers compensation law.

Mr. Stewart appealed and the commonwealth court reversed and remanded the decision. Although the janitorial company argued that the “coming and going rule” — which states that injuries sustained by a worker traveling to or from work are not compensable — the court found that Mr. Stewart had already arrived at the front entrance of the building when he fell and was no longer commuting. Since the area where he fell was the reasonable ingress into the worksite where his shift was soon to begin, the court held that Mr. Stewart was required to be present in that area and that the ground where he fell “constituted a condition of the premises” that contributed to his injuries.





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