As we have discussed in several previous blog entries, an injury at work in PA must happen in the scope and course of employment to be compensable under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. Often, this is the issue in dispute when an employee is injured in a parking lot, either coming to, or leaving, work.
In ICT Group v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Churchray-Woytunick), recently decided by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, a worker slipped and fell in a parking lot as she was preparing to leave the premises for lunch. Since the employee was required to take a lunch break, was allowed to leave the premises, the parking lot was used by the employees and the injury took place only about ten feet from the employer’s door, the Court found the injury was within the scope and course of employment and workers’ comp benefits were awarded.
These cases are always very “fact-specific,” and there are many different ways these types of cases go. Yet another reason that injured workers should be sure to select attorneys with extensive experience in PA workers’ compensation matters.