Thursday, March 05, 2009
Quasi-course of employment case: Kelly
Decided on March 5, 2009, the Kelly case addressed the legal issue of quasi-course of employment. The Colorado Court of Appeals decided that a claimant returning to Colorado for re-scheduled surgery (for his work injury) who was then injured in Elko Nevada in an auto accident cannot make it part of his workers comp claim. The court decided that injuries while traveling to and from a medical appointment can be covered through workers comp but in the case on appeal it was too much of a deviation. The claimant was on vacation and was told his medical appointment for surgery could be reset so he decided to travel back from Reno and was hurt during the travel. While it was travel for treatment for his work injury it was too much a deviation from the typical home to medical office to say the accident should be covered. Each case should be reviewed on its facts because it now seems a question of how much of a deviation to throw out coverage. While the case makes sense it may lead to more litigation as it's not clear what is a "substantial deviation" but it does seem to be a rule of reason case. That is, if it is unreasonable then it won't be covered.