Mike Chase and Sam Sammataro Prevail in South Carolina Court of Appeals
Mike Chase and Sam Sammataro prevail at the South Carolina Court of Appeals in a Workers’ Compensation matter. After clocking out and exiting her place of employment, the employee fell on a public sidewalk. She claimed entitlement to workers' compensation benefits on the basis that she injured herself within a reasonable time and distance after her shift ended so as to fall within the so-called "going to or coming from" exception to the general rule that an employee going to or coming from work ordinarily is not engaged in performance of job duties such that any injury at the time does not arise out of and in the course and scope of his employment. The Appellate Panel of the Workers' Compensation Commission reversed the single commissioner's order awarding benefits, and the employee appealed to the South Carolina Court of Appeals. The employee argued the Appellate Panel erred in reinstating the appeal, which earlier had been administratively dismissed as untimely, and in reversing the award of benefits. In its order affirming the Appellate Panel, the court of appeals found the commission acted within its discretion to reinstate the appeal, particularly in light of existing regulatory authority and the showing of good cause by the employer. Turning to the compensability issue, the court held that the commission correctly denied benefits where the evidence clearly established that the employee did not meet any of the recognized exceptions to the going to or coming from rule.