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Enterprise Rent-A-Car Co. of Oregon v. Frazer

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 10-17-2012
Case #: A146596
Hadlock, J. for the Court; En Banc; and Wollheim, J., Dissenting
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A146596.pdf

Workers Compensation: The mere fact of employer control over the injury location is insufficient to establish compensability of the injury. The Workers' Compensation Board is bound to apply the "going and coming" rule where an employee sustains an injury while traveling to or from work outside the course of employment. The injury will not be compensable unless the circumstances surrounding the injury fall within an exception to the rule.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car (Employer) seeks review of a Workers' Compensation Board (Board) decision in which the Board concluded the claimant suffered a compensable injury that arose during the course of her employment. The claimant suffered a knee injury in the parking lot of her workplace while returning from a paid break. Employer did not own or manage the parking lot were the injury occurred. Employer argued that the Board erred by not applying the "going and coming" rule, and therefore failed to consider whether any exceptions to that rule applied so as to result in the injury being compensable. The claimant argued that the Board can choose not to apply the "going and coming" rule and instead, may decide that an injury can arise out of the course of employment because the employer had some control over the area where the injury occurred. The Court of Appeals held that the mere fact of employer control over the injury location is insufficient to establish compensability of the injury. The Board is bound to apply the "going and coming" rule where an employee sustains an injury while traveling to or from work outside the course of employment. The injury will not be compensable unless the circumstances surrounding the injury fall within an exception to the rule. Reversed and remanded.