Gulliford v. Nikko Gold Coast Cruises, AM-208

Decision Date20 December 1982
Docket NumberNo. AM-208,AM-208
Citation423 So.2d 588
PartiesKarl GULLIFORD, Appellant, v. NIKKO GOLD COAST CRUISES and Zurich Insurance Company, Appellee.
CourtFlorida District Court of Appeals

Peter S. Schwedock of Pelzner, Schwedock, Finkelstein & Klausner, P.A., Miami, for appellant.

Steven Kronenberg of Adams, Kelley, Kronenberg & Rutledge, Miami, for appellee.

ERVIN, Judge.

We reverse and remand the deputy commissioner's order dismissing appellant and claimant Karl Gulliford's claim for workers' compensation benefits. His claim stems from a July 13, 1980 auto accident arising out of and in the course of his employment with Nikko Gold Coast Cruises, the appellee. The claim falls within the dual-purpose doctrine, an exception to the going and coming rule which routinely bars compensation.

Karl Gulliford worked as a tour bus dispatcher for Nikko Gold Coast Cruises, a Miami Beach tour company. In that position he was a "jack-of-all-trades," dispatching tour buses, answering the phone, doing repair work on tour boats, handling problems with tour bus drivers, and assisting customers in making reservations. Also, for over three-and-one-half years, Gulliford had routinely performed an additional task, that of "taking the bank home" at night.

Gulliford's testimony reveals that each day between 2:15 and 3:00 p.m. he would empty the cash drawers used by the employer's tour ticket sellers, lock the money in his car, work until 5:30 or 6:00 p.m., and take the money home for the evening. If Gulliford ever used his car at night, he would always lock the "bank" in a safe place in his home. The next morning he would take the "bank" back to work, so that the ticket sellers would have a ready supply of money on hand to make change for customers. Gulliford stated that he viewed this task as part of his job and considered himself to be the guardian of the money.

The "bank" regularly consisted of approximately $500. Because of the amount of money involved, Marvin Wildman, a former owner of Nikko Gold Coast Cruises, stated that he did not consider it safe to leave the "bank" at the ticket office over night. Hence, Wildman initiated the practice of having the claimant take the "bank" home each night. Wildman paid the claimant $100 per month as a car allowance primarily for the purpose of using his personal car to go out and assist a tour bus driver, if his bus broke down. Wildman also stated that the car allowance included payment for the cost of taking the "bank" home at night and bringing it back in the morning.

Approximately two weeks before claimant's accident, Wildman sold his business to Jerry Faber. The new owner told Gulliford that until informed otherwise, his job would remain exactly the same. On the morning of July 13, 1980, Gulliford followed his normal route to work, first taking his wife to her worksite and driving on to Miami Beach with the "bank." Unfortunately, he never reached his destination, because en route to his employer's office he was involved in an auto accident.

Gulliford filed a claim for workers' compensation, which was controverted by his new employer, Jerry Faber, who argued by affidavit that the only reason the claimant was driving at the time of the accident was to get to work, and that the claimant's injury did not arise out of and in the course of his employment. The deputy commissioner agreed and dismissed the claim. We reverse and remand for consideration of the claimant's benefits.

This case is controlled by the dual-purpose doctrine. Professor Larson explains the doctrine by noting:

Injury during a trip which serves both a business and a personal purpose is within the course of employment if the trip involves the performance of a service for the employer which would have caused the trip to be taken by someone even if it had no [sic] coincided with the personal journey. This principle applies to out-of-town trips, to trips to and from work, and to miscellaneous errands such as visits to bars or restaurants motivated in part by an intention to transact business there.

1 Larson, Workmen's Compensation Law § 18.00 (1978) (e.s.). The doctrine is consistent with Florida law as set forth by the Florida Supreme Court in Cook v. Highway Casualty Co., 82 So.2d 679 (Fla.1955), a workmen's compensation case, wherein the claimant was injured in an auto collision. "So long as the business purpose is 'at least a concurrent cause of the trip,' ..., the employer may be held liable for workmen's compensation." Id. at 682.

We note that the Cook court specifically indicated that the dominant purpose of the trip was not necessarily required to be for a business purpose. Accord Davis v. Bert Friedman Court Reporting Service, 251 So.2d 129 (Fla.1971); Krause v. West Lumber Co., 227 So.2d 486 (Fla.1969). No inquiry need be made as to the relative importance of the trip's business importance. Levine v. Builders Aluminum Stone Co., 186 So.2d 26, 28 (Fla.1966). All that need be determined is that the injury resulted due to a trip, a concurrent cause of which was a business purpose. Cook, at 682. 1

In the case at bar, the concurrent causes were: (1) the claimant's personal act of driving himself and his wife to work, and (2) the business-related act of "taking the bank" to work. Professor Larson treats this type of situation as compensable.

§ 18.24 Carrying employment impedimenta to and from work

The mere fact that claimant is, while going to work, also carrying with him some of the paraphernalia of his employment does not, in itself, convert the trip into a part of the employment. For example, the mere fact that at the time of the accident the employee had with him some of the tools of his trade, such as a steamfitter's hard hat, a pocket rule, and a level, all belonging to the employer, does not make the accident compensable. However, if it can be said that the transporting of the employment materials amounted to the performing of a business service of sufficient dimensions to bring it within the basic dual-purpose rule, in the sense that if the employee could not have combined this service with his going or...

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3 cases
  • Swartz v. McDonald's Corp.
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • November 12, 1998
    ...D.C. Moore & Sons,568 So.2d at 999. The parameters of the dual purpose doctrine are demonstrated by Gulliford v. Nikko Gold Coast Cruises, 423 So.2d 588, 589 (Fla. 1st DCA 1982),approved sub nom., Nikko Gold Coast Cruises v. Gulliford, 448 So.2d 1002 (Fla.1984). In Gulliford, the claimant's......
  • Nikko Gold Coast Cruises v. Gulliford
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • April 5, 1984
    ...Finkelstein & Klausner, Miami, for respondents. ADKINS, Justice. We have before us for discretionary review Gulliford v. Nikko Gold Coast Cruises, 423 So.2d 588 (Fla. 1st DCA 1982), which is in direct conflict with United States Fidelity and Guaranty Co. v. Rowe, 126 So.2d 737 (Fla.1961). W......
  • The Oaks v. Paulk
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • February 26, 1990
    ...rule. We affirm. See Spartan Food Systems & Subsidiaries v. Hopkins, 525 So.2d 987 (Fla. 1st DCA 1988); and Gulliford v. Nikko Gold Coast Cruises, 423 So.2d 588 (Fla. 1st DCA 1982). Moreover, based on the facts of this case as found by the judge, we affirm the judge's conclusion that the em......

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