California’s Supreme Court has refused to reconsider a decision granting workers’ comp benefits to an employee after she was injured while shopping for a work-related potluck.
Yvette Casarez was injured while traveling to a shopping center to buy food and gifts for a holiday party for co-workers to be held at the employer’s office the next day.
Her husband lost control of the truck in which she was a passenger. The truck struck the center divider and rolled over several times.
Her employer supported the potlucks to promote teamwork. Casarez also showed that she was on call for the employer at the time of the crash. For those reasons, a workers’ comp administrative judge concluded she was injured in the course of performing a work-related duty that benefited the employer.
The company, Davita, Inc., appealed the comp award to the full workers’ comp board, a state appeals court and finally to the state supreme court. At every step, the benefits were upheld.
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Cite: Yvette Casarez v. Davita, Inc., Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, State of CA, Case No. ADJ278138.