D.C. Moore & Sons v. Wadkins

Decision Date25 October 1990
Docket NumberNo. 89-1990,89-1990
Citation568 So.2d 998
Parties15 Fla. L. Weekly D2673 D.C. MOORE & SONS and Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, Appellants, v. Allan Shane WADKINS, Appellee.
CourtFlorida District Court of Appeals

Steven Scott Stephens, of Alpert, Josey & Grilli, P.A., Tampa, for appellants.

Edward H. Hurt, Sr., Orlando, and Bill McCabe of Shepard, McCabe & Cooley, Longwood, for appellee.

BARFIELD, Judge.

The employer and carrier (EC) appeal a workers' compensation order which awards the claimants, as dependent parents of the deceased employee, death benefits and funeral expenses. We reverse because the deceased employee did not die in an accident occurring within the course and scope of his employment and compensability is barred by the going and coming rule.

The decedent stopped by his employer's warehouse on Monday, his day off, and helped him close up. Decedent inadvertently put the warehouse keys in his pocket and took them home with him. The next morning, when decedent reported for work at 7:30 A.M. his supervisor told him that he should return the keys before he left on a scheduled trip out of town the next morning, Wednesday. Decedent worked until approximately 9:45 P.M. and clocked out, telling a coworker that he was going home to get the keys and would bring them back that night. On his way home he was involved in a fatal traffic collision.

The evidence adduced established that the keys in question belonged to the business, not to decedent, and that none of the employees are supposed to take keys home. When they do so, they are expected to return them on their own time. The keys were not vital to the operation of the business because additional keys were available. The EC argue that under these circumstances the going and coming rule bars compensability, and we agree.

The going and coming rule does not apply to employees who are on special errands or missions for the employer. A special errand exists if the journey was a substantial part of the service performed for the employer. Eady v. Medical Personnel Pool, 377 So.2d 693 (Fla.1979). A special errand exists where the employee is instructed by the employer to perform a special errand which grows out of and is incidental to his employment. Bruck v. Glen Johnson, Inc., 418 So.2d 1209, 1211 (Fla. 1st DCA 1982). A typical "special errand" exists when the employer calls the employee at home, and instructs him to deviate from his normal route into work to pick up an item needed for the purposes of employment that day. See e.g.: Spartan Food Systems & Subsidiaries v. Hopkins, 525 So.2d 987 (Fla. 1st DCA 1988) (Employee directed to pick up drink cups on way into work); Bruck v. Glen Johnson, Inc. (Employee directed to pick up parts from warehouse on way into work). An employee's trips to and from his place of residence will always have a component of personal motive, but the courts do not weigh the relative importance of the personal motive versus the business motive. So long as the business purpose is at least a concurrent cause of the trip, liability of the EC may exist. Nikko...

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5 cases
  • Swartz v. McDonald's Corp.
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • May 24, 2001
    ...doctrine to buttress its conclusion that the employee fell within the special errand exception. Similarly, in D.C. Moore & Sons v. Wadkins, 568 So.2d 998, 999 (Fla. 1st DCA 1990), the court explained the special errand exception by noting that concurrent personal and business purposes may e......
  • Rodriguez v. Tri-State Carriers, Inc.
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • September 4, 2001
    ...of "personal missions," see, e.g., Cent. Air Conditioning Co. v. Garren, 239 So.2d 497, 498-99 (Fla.1970); D.C. Moore & Sons v. Wadkins, 568 So.2d 998, 999-1000 (Fla. 1st DCA 1990), the going and coming cases are governed by a separate statutory An injury suffered while going to or coming f......
  • Swartz v. McDonald's Corp.
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • November 12, 1998
    ...does not apply to employee travel which is undertaken to perform a special errand or mission for the employer. D.C. Moore & Sons v. Wadkins, 568 So.2d 998, 999 (Fla. 1st DCA 1990). A special errand may exist "if the journey was a substantial part of the service performed for the employer [o......
  • Hages v. Hughes Elec. Service, Inc.
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • May 22, 1995
    ...residence/corporate office at night. Claimant's residence was selected for the convenience of the employer. Cf. D.C. Moore & Sons v. Wadkins, 568 So.2d 998 (Fla. 1st DCA 1990) (An employee's trips to and from his place of residence will always have a component of personal motive, but the co......
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1 books & journal articles
  • Pleadings and mandatory electronic filing
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books Florida Family Law and Practice - Volume 1
    • April 30, 2022
    ...to Abate Florida Proceedings. IN PR A CTICE Be careful in seeking abatement or stay rather than a motion to dismiss. In Odom v. Odom, 568 So. 2d 998 (Fla. 3d DCA 1990), the court held that a nonresident husband, by seeking aff‌irmative relief of abatement alleging that personal service of p......

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