Bailey v. Pepsi Bottling Group
June 16, 2020
Mechanic Back Leg "Going and Coming" Comeau Cox Waycott
Summary from the Troubh Heisler Attorneys
Bailey is a Pepsi truck mechanic who, while returning it to a coworker who lived near him, drove a truck he had fixed into a ditch injuring his back and leg. He claimed it as a work injury, and Pepsi denied the claim as barred by the "going and coming" rule.
Judge Elwin granted Bailey's petitions and awarded him benefits, applying the "dual-purpose" exception to the "going and coming" rule, and finding the Comeau factors weighed toward compensability. Pepsi appealed.
The Appellate Division panel reviewed the undisputed facts. Pepsi asked him to drive the truck to perform maintenance on it, so he used it rather than his own vehicle. Later he became ill and Pepsi told him to go home, but drop the vehicle off on his way. The accident was on the same road he always took to go home from work.
The panel discussed the issues in detail, finding that Judge Elwin correctly considered the Waycott "going and coming" rule, the Cox "dual-purpose" exception to the rule, and the Comeau factors determining compensability generally. The panel deferred to Judge Elwin's rational application of the law to the unique facts of this case and affirmed her decision.