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Gadsden, Alabama

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Chrissie Cole
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Arkansas Court Rules Injury not Work Related, Workers' Comp Denied

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The Arkansas Court of Appeals ruled a school custodian who was injured while parking his car on campus after running a personal errand, should not receive workers’ compensation benefits.

The ruling, on Wednesday, reversed a state Workers’ Compensation Commission decision, which had decided the employee, had returned to his employer’s premises and was on-call at the time of the accident.

The employee was injured when he opened the gate to the parking lot and the gate fell on him, breaking his leg in two places. He was trying to park his vehicle in the gated section because the lot he usually used was blocked by a truck.

He applied for benefits but the district denied his application saying he was not performing employment services when he was injured.

The Workers’ Compensation Commission reversed the administrative law judge’s decision, saying at the time of his injury, Conner had returned to his employer’s premises and was providing a service to his employer by allowing access to the parking lot.

The appeals court, in a 4-2 decision Wednesday, ruled the activity Conner was performing when he was injured “was not inherently necessary to perform his job.”