Mandes v. Liberty Mutual Holdings

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Workers Compensation
  • Date Filed: 12-06-2017
  • Case #: A158741
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Powers, J. for the Court; DeVore, P.J. & Garrett, S.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

"Under the personal comfort doctrine, a worker remains in the course and scope of employment if he or she engages in an activity that is not his or her appointed work but which is 'personal comfort' activity that bears a sufficient connection to his or her employment.” U.S. Bank v. Pohrman, 272 Or App 31, 46, 354 P3d 722, rev den, 358 Or 70 (2015).

 Claimant appealed an order from the Workers' Compensation Board (“the Board”) that determined the injuries she sustained when she tripped and fell during a paid break were not remunerative under the "going and coming" rule. On appeal, Claimant argued that the Board erred because the injuries she sustained occurred in the course and scope of her employment under the "personal comfort" doctrine, and thus, the "going and coming" rule utilized by the board was not applicable. "Under the personal comfort doctrine, a worker remains in the course and scope of employment if he or she engages in an activity that is not his or her appointed work but which is 'personal comfort' activity that bears a sufficient connection to his or her employment.” U.S. Bank v. Pohrman, 272 Or App 31, 46, 354 P3d 722, rev den, 358 Or 70 (2015). The Court of Appeals agreed with claimant and held that the Board erred when it determined that her injuries were not compensable under the "going and coming" rule without first inquiring into the nature or the claimant's activity. The Court determined the inquiry must address whether or not claimant's activity bore a sufficient connection, so as to qualify it as within the course and scope of her employment. Reversed and remanded.  

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