Employee’s death not compensable where accident occurred while driving home in personal vehicle, regardless of fact that claimant’s shift ended at 6:00 am

Here, the decedent worked as a Derrickhand on an oil rig. After working his shift from 6:00 PM to 6:00 AM, decedent started driving home. Approximately thirty minutes after his shift ended, the decedent was involved in a car crash,  presumably because the the decedent fell asleep at the wheel and drifted into oncoming traffic.

ICAO affirmed the ALJ’s decision to deny death benefits. ICAO reasoned that travel was not contemplated in the employer contract. Although the employer required its employees to carry valid driver’s licenses, it did not require employees to drive their personal vehicles to work. As ICAO pointed noted,  there are other means of arriving to work, citing “carpooling” as an example. Moreover, ICAO determined that the employer derived no benefit from decedent driving his personal vehicle to work, as his vehicle was not used in any work-related function. Thus, decedent’s injuries were not compensable. Lagasse v. Xtreme Drilling and Coil Serv., W.C. No. 4-993-361-02 (ICAO July 24, 2017).

Would you like to know more? Contact Eric J. Pollart at epollart@pollartmiller.com or 303.414.0782.


From the August 2017 Pollart Miller Newsletter