UPDATED: The Supreme Court reversed the COA claiming under the implied prohibition test, claimant, by crossing at a non-cross-walk “voluntarily exposed herself to a hazard so completely outside those normally encountered in going to or coming from work as to negate any authority U.S. bank may have had over her.”
US Bank Home Mortgage v. Schrecker, No. 2011–CA–002253–WC (2012). To be published. The “personal comfort” doctrine covers situations where an employee is injured while taking a brief pause from her work to fulfill various necessities of life, i.e. eating.
While on her paid lunch break, Schrecker was struck by a vehicle and sustained injuries. The employer argued that her break was not in the course of her employment and, thus, she should not be entitled to compensation.
The issue was whether the Board erred in finding that Schrecker was on a paid break at the time of her accident, which put her within the course and scope of her employment to entitle her to benefits for her injuries. The Court held that Schrecker’s employment did not stipulate that she had to take her lunch break on the premises. No Kentucky case specifically addresses accidents occurring off-premises during a break period but the “personal comfort” doctrine covers situations where an employee is injured while taking a brief pause from their work to fulfill various necessities of life. Thirst and hunger situations are appropriate to grant recovery.
The employer has appealed this decision to the Kentucky Supreme Court.