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Judges: injuries from crash on public road not covered

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld a decision by the state worker’s compensation board that denied a security guard’s claim that a car accident on the way to work happened in the course of his employment and should be compensated.

Night security guard Earl Arnold in 2006 was driving from his home to his job at Rose Acre’s facility in Cortland. He was on County Road 800 North, which is a public road that intersects with a gravel road serving as the only entrance to Rose Acre’s facility. As Arnold started to make a left-hand turn onto the facility’s gravel road and crossed the center line, he was struck by a pick-up truck. The vehicles came to rest partially on the public road and partially in Rose Acre’s driveway. Arnold suffered several injuries.

He filed a claim for workers’ compensation on the grounds that the accident arose out of and in the course of his employment, but a single member denied his claim and the full board supported that conclusion.

In Earl Arnold, Sr. v. Rose Acre Farms, Inc., No. 93A02-1109-EX-874, the judges could not determine that the full board erred in concluding that the public road wasn’t part of the Rose Acre’s premises for purposes of state statute. Although Rose Acre technically owned the soil beneath the public road, the judges found that it had no control of the road’s use a public thoroughfare. The court rejected Arnold’s argument that his left-hand turn into Rose Acre distinguished his use of the public road from the use made by the public at large.

The court also declined to apply a ruling it made more than a decade ago in Clemans v. Wishard Mem’l Hosp., 727 N.E.2d 1084 (Ind. Ct. App. 2000), which involved an employee traveling on a public road from one part of the employer’s premises to another part. That precedent does not stand for the proposition that an employee may be eligible for benefits from injuries occurring when traveling on a public road from the home to the employer’s sole piece of property, Judge Carr Darden wrote.

The court noted that Arnold failed to show the board erred in determining he wasn’t injured in the course of his employment with Rose Acre. Darden wrote in a footnote that the panel is making no determination as to whether Arnold’s injuries “arose out of” his employment.

 

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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