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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 10, 2014
Contact: Eric W. Boyer, Esq.
305.670.1101 Ext. 1023
QPWB DEFENSE PROVE WORKERS’ COMP. “GOING-AND-COMING” TRAVEL TO WORK RULE APPLIES WITH NO EXCEPTIONS
JCC AGREES ACCIDENT INJURY CLAIMS NOT WORK RELATED
Workers’ Comp. Defense
Special Errand, Deviation from Employment, Going or Coming- Traveling To /From Work Rule
SEBASTIAN, Florida ― Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. Tampa office partner, Juan Carlos Garcia, represented the Employer/Carrier in a final workers’ compensation hearing on a controverted claim raised by the claimant. Annie P. Kwong, an associate in the Orlando office, assisted with the preparation of the Memorandum of Law. The claimant filed claims for compensability, payment of medical bills, payment of lost wages and attorney’s fees and costs. The employer/carrier denied the claim under the “going and coming” rule and that the claimant did not qualify under any of the exceptions allowed by statute/law. At the conclusion of the trial, the Judge of Compensation Claims agreed with the defense and evidence raised and denied the claim.
Evidence presented at trial by the claimant’s daughter and wife established he was within the scope of employment as he was on his way to work and doing a dual purpose for the employer. Claimant argued that he was transporting petty cash and supplies on his motorcycle on the morning of the accident. He also testified he was required to make deposits, cash checks, and run errands to support daily business operations.
The employer/carrier presented evidence from the claimant’s supervisor, general manager, and HR manager establishing that the claimant had not purchased any supplies nor had he engaged in any bank activities for at least two years prior to the accident. Additionally, there was no need for him to purchase items on his own since he had authorization to make online purchases of supplies and have them directly delivered to the location. Further evidence was established from the State Trooper showing that no such supplies were located at the scene of the accident and that the claimant had contradicted himself on the stand regarding the petty cash issues and handling of same while working for the insured. Although fraud was not raised as an affirmative defense, the claimant’s credibility was presented as a major issue, to which the Judge agreed with the defenses and arguments from the employer/carrier and the claim was therefore denied.