Worthington v. Moore Elec. Co., Inc.

Decision Date28 March 1990
Citation563 So.2d 617
PartiesLewis Wayne WORTHINGTON, et al. v. MOORE ELECTRIC COMPANY, INC. Civ. 7275.
CourtAlabama Court of Civil Appeals

John I. Cottle III of Bowles & Cottle, Tallassee, for appellant.

Charles A. Stewart III and John R. Bradwell of Hill, Hill, Carter, Franco, Cole & Black, Montgomery, for appellee.

ROBERTSON, Judge.

This is a workmen's compensation case.

The employee, Lewis Worthington, was employed by Moore Electric Company, Inc. as a foreman. The employee was involved in an accident while driving one of his employer's trucks. The parties stipulated that as a result of the accident the employee sustained a twenty-five percent partial disability to the hand.

After hearing the employee's testimony in the case, the trial court entered an order finding:

"[I]n view of the evidence, even in the most favorable light to the plaintiff, the Court is not convinced or satisfied that he was acting within the line of scope of his duties of his employment on the occasion of going to and from work in the first place; and, secondly, the Court is also more impressed, if in fact it was a duty, which the Court does not find in this case, that he would be deviating from the path that they would have been normally traveling to carry out that duty.

"....

"... Based on the evidence, ... this Court does not find from the facts presented in evidence thus far, sufficient evidence that would indicate or support the contention of plaintiff that to and from travel was within the line of scope of duty of the employment period.

"So I don't have to get to the deviating point, but I think the deviating point is there as well."

This court's standard of review in a workmen's compensation case is whether any reasonable view of the evidence supports the trial court's findings and, then, whether the law has been correctly applied to those findings. Ex parte Patterson, 561 So.2d 236 (Ala.1990).

Pursuant to § 25-5-1, Code 1975, an employee's injuries are compensable if his accident arose out of and occurred in the course of employment. Generally, accidents that occur while an employee is traveling to and from work are not compensable because they fail to meet the arising-out-of and occurring-in-the-course-of-employment requirement. Sun Papers, Inc. v. Jerrell, 411 So.2d 790 (Ala.Civ.App.1981). Here, it is clear that the accident occurred while the employee was traveling to and from work.

However, this determination does not automatically preclude the employee's recovery, due to exceptions to the aforementioned general rule. In situations where the employer furnishes the employee transportation, or reimburses him for his expenses, or the employee is engaged in some duty to his employer in connection with his employment at home or en route, then the accident may be deemed as arising out of and occurring in the course of the employment. Union Camp Corp. v. Blackmon, 289 Ala. 635, 270 So.2d 108 (1972).

The employee's testimony was that the truck he drove to and from work was furnished by his employer. Further, the employee was given $25 a day for expenses related to the truck, and he had a practice of picking up his two co-workers and transporting them to work, also.

It is this court's opinion that the only reasonable view of this evidence is that the employee, while driving to and from work every day, was on a journey that arose out of and occurred in the course of his employment.

However, the employee's accident may still be found noncompensable if this court determines that the only reasonable view of the evidence was that the employee took a clearly identifiable side trip and so deviated from his business journey that he unquestionably went beyond the course of his employment in going away from his business route and toward a personal objective. Havelin v. Poole Truck Lines, Inc., 395 So.2d 75 (Ala.Civ.App.), cert. denied, 395 So.2d 77 (Ala.1981).

On the day of the...

To continue reading

Request your trial
7 cases
  • Taylor v. Aetna Life Ins. Co.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Middle District of Alabama
    • April 27, 1999
    ...leaving his business purpose to carry out a personal purpose or objective." Kewish, 664 So.2d at 922 (citing Worthington v. Moore Electric Co., 563 So.2d 617 (Ala.Civ.App.1990)). Here, in applying the foregoing body of law to the facts, the court finds that Plaintiff's injury did not arise ......
  • Meeks By and Through Meeks v. Thompson Tractor Co.
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Civil Appeals
    • May 31, 1996
    ...that such an accident arises out of and in the course of his or her employment and is compensable. See, e.g., Worthington v. Moore Elec. Co., 563 So.2d 617 (Ala.Civ.App.1990). Nevertheless, if an employee deliberately and substantially deviates from his or her employment, any injury that oc......
  • Tucker v. Die-Matic Tool Co., Inc., DIE-MATIC
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Civil Appeals
    • November 4, 1994
    ...him for his travel expenses, the accident may be deemed to have arisen out of and in the course of employment. Worthington v. Moore Elec. Co., 563 So.2d 617 (Ala.Civ.App.1990). Another exception to the general rule occurs when "an employee during his travel to and from work is engaged in so......
  • Kewish v. Alabama Home Builders Self Insurers Fund
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Civil Appeals
    • March 3, 1995
    ...his course of employment by leaving his business purpose to carry out a personal purpose or objective. See Worthington v. Moore Electric Co., 563 So.2d 617 (Ala.Civ.App.1990). The trial court specifically found that Kewish "had deviated from the course of [his] employment," finding that the......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT