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Case Story of Kay M.

Kay was an administrative assistant at a firm in Delaware and would work on weekends when necessary.  On a particularly cold Saturday morning, while walking on the sidewalk leading into her office building to report to work, she suffered a terrible fall on black ice and fractured her elbow. This case was unique in that Kay was on her way to work and not actually “on the clock” when she was injured. 

Under Delaware Worker’s Compensation law, for an accident to be recognized the injury must be “in the course of employment” and “arise out of that employment.”  Under the “going and coming” rule, it is generally held that an injury is not compensable if an employee is injured while that employee is on the way to work.  In this case, there was no doubt that Catherine was on her way to work when the injury occurred. 

The workers’ compensation claim went to a full hearing before the Industrial Accident Board.  At the hearing we argued an exception to the “going and coming” rule, called the “premises rule” which holds that if an employee is injured at their fixed place of employment while going to or from work, they are covered for workers’ compensation purposes if they are on the employer’s premises when the injury occurs.

The Board ultimately agreed with our arguments and found the injury occurred within the course and scope of Kay’s employment due to the “premises rule” exception.  As a result, Catherine was able to recover her medical bills, lost wages, and other benefits. 

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