CAN I MAKE A MARYLAND WORKERS COMPENSATION CLAIM IF INJURED ON OR NEAR A PARKING LOT AT WORK?

CAN I MAKE A MARYLAND WORKERS COMPENSATION CLAIM IF INJURED ON OR NEAR A PARKING LOT AT WORK?

Whether you can file a claim when injured on or near a parking lot close to your job depends on many factors. The below cases summarize many of the factors that the Workers compensation commission will look at to determine whether your particular injury near or at the parking lot at work would be covered by Maryland Workers Compensation.

May Dept store v. Harryman 65 Md. App. 534 (1985)

Issue-whether an employee who parks in an area of a shopping center parking lot, which is neither owned, maintained nor controlled by her employer, and who is injured by the intentional acts of a third party, is entitled to receive worker’s compensation benefits?

Facts: The Golden Ring Mall parking lot provided the only parking for the shopping center. Thus, employees of the Hecht Company and other businesses located in the mall parked their cars there while at work. Customers of the mall stores also used the parking lot. The portion of the lot on which appellant was injured was owned solely by the Mall Management Company.

Holding-We are persuaded that where a sufficient nexus exists between the injury sustained, the place where it is sustained, without regard to its ownership, control or maintenance, and the incidents of employment, the injury occurs on the “premises” of the employer and is therefore compensable. Relevant to the determination of the sufficiency of the nexus is the extent to which the nature of the business and its location contemplated or required the employee to be where the injury occurred. We hold that a shopping center parking lot over which the employer has no ownership interest or right of control is part of the “premises” of the employer for purposes of the workmen’s compensation law when the parking lot is provided without restriction for the convenience of the public, the employees and the employer and is the “normal and customary means to and from [the] employer’s premises to which such [parking lot is] an indispensable appurtenance”. It follows that an employee injured on such parking lot while coming to or from his or her place of employment is “in the course of employment.” Under these circumstances, the fact of ownership or control of the parking lot is not material; the only material issue is the limits of the employer’s premises. And in this case that issue was a question of law.

Proctor Silex v. Debrick 253 Md. 477 (1969)

Facts: Employee slipped and fell as she walked towards work after she parked in employer provided parking lot, but fell on sidewalk between parking lot and entrance of work. Happened before she punched in.

Holding: 1.An employee is in the course of his employment where he is injured before the hour of work while on the premises for the purpose of engaging in the day’s work. Since, as shown later, a parking lot owned or maintained by the employer is treated by most courts as part of the premises, the majority rule is that an injury in a public street or other off-premises place between the plant and the parking lot is in the course of employment, being on a necessary route between the two portions of the premises. But if the parking lot is 483*483 a purely private one, the principle of passage between two parts of the premises is not available, and an employee crossing a public street to get to the parking lot is not protected.”

  1. Proctor also derives comfort from the fact that in Salomon and in Harris this Court cited Bennett v. Vanderbilt University (Tenn), 277 SW 2d 386 (1955). In that case compensation was denied where an individual sustained injuries on a parking lot belonging to her employer located across the street from the employer’s building. There was a specific finding in that case that it was not “a part of the contract of employment that she was to have this free parking space.” The case was cited earlier by this Court for the broad proposition “that the mere fact that the employee is on the premises or property owned by the employer at the time the employee is injured, is not determinative.”,.

Pariser Bakery v. Koonz 239 Md 586, 212 a2d 324 (1965) our facts

Facts-the claimant concluded his work, went down to the first floor of the plant to the locker room where he changed his clothes, punched out at the time clock, and departed from the building,. He walked out of the bakery’s entrance and across the truck loading area, which is approximately seventeen feet wide, . When the claimant reached the point where the sidewalk meets the bakery’s building line, he said that he took one step onto the sidewalk. An automobile,driven at a high rate of speed, ran onto the sidewalk and then struck and injured the claimant.

Holding-Where the employee was injured on the public sidewalk in front of his employer’s place of business after the completion of his day’s work while proceeding from the employer’s building to his automobile parked in a public street. We there held the employee not covered. His period of employment ended when he “punched out” from his work, departed from the bakery’s premises, and was actually crossing a public sidewalk on his way home. It has been held consistently by this Court that employees who suffer injuries in going to and returning from their places of work are excluded from the benefits of the Workmen’s Compensation Act. Police Comm’r v. King, 219 Md. 127, 148 A.2d 562; Rumple v. Henry H. Meyer Co., Inc., 208 Md. 350, 118 A.2d 486; Reisinger-Siehler Co. v. Perry, 165 Md. 191, 167 Atl. 51. With respect to injuries received by an employee while on the street in front of the employer’s premises when 591*591 going to or coming from work, the compensation acts have been generally held not to authorize an award in case of an injury from a peril which is common to all mankind, or to which the public at large is exposed.

Board of County Comm for Frederick County v. Vache 349Md 526, 709A2d 155 (1998)

Facts-employed by the Frederick County Board of Commissioners (employer). Parking privileges were not a part of her employment in that the employer did not provide appellee with a parking space. The employer leased office space from the Frederick County Board of Education (BOE) inside BOE’s building. A lease between BOE and the employer, which was introduced as evidence, reflects that BOE agreed to maintain the area outside the building, including the removal of snow and ice.Employee parked across the street in a private lot.

Holding-We hold that when an employee is injured on a public sidewalk en route to her place of employment while she was traveling from a parking lot not provided by her employer but from a privately-owned lot not associated with the employer’s premises, the premise exception to the going and coming rule does not apply. Accordingly, the  premises exception can apply when the employee’s injuries occur on a parking lot maintained by the employer for the use of its employees or when the injuries occur between that employer-controlled parking lot and the physical place of employment. Under the premises exception, although the notion of “premises” does not necessarily include all of the property owned by the employer, it does contemplate “compensation for injuries occurring on parking lots provided for the use of the employees,” Saylor, 258 Md. at 609, 267 A.2d at 83, and where there is an “integral relationship between the place of injury on the employer’s property and where [the employee] worked.”

Globe Screen Printing Corp v. Young 138 Md App 122, 770  a 2d 1064 (2001)

Facts_ John J. Young,  for injuries he sustained from an assault that occurred on a public sidewalk between his place of employment, Globe Screen Printing Corporation, and its employee parking lot. Because Young walked to work, he did not use the employee parking lot.. the court ruled the  injuries did not occur in the course of his employment.

Holding– When appellee was assaulted, he was on his way to work. At the time of the assault, he was neither on Globe’s premises nor traveling between the company parking lot and his place of employment. In fact, he had not yet arrived at work and was attacked while on a public sidewalk. Although that assault occurred between his place of employment and the employee parking lot, that happenstance does not bring the facts of this case within the ambit of the premises exception. The premises exception was created in recognition of the fact that a parking lot provided by an employer for employees is by its very nature an integral part of the premises of that employer’s business and that any street or other area that lies between the lot and business is “`a necessary route between [those] two portions of the premises.'” Wiley, 280 Md. at 207, 373 A.2d 613 (quoting 1 LARSON, supra). Therefore, an injury sustained by an employee while using that street or other area to travel between the two is an injury sustained “`in the course of employment.'” Id. The focus of that exception therefore is not, as appellee claims, where an employee’s injury occurred but whether that injury occurred while that employee was walking from one portion of his or her employer’s premises (the employer-provided parking lot) to another (the plant, office building, shop, etc.). To suggest that it unfairly distinguishes between those employees who choose to walk and those who choose to drive and use the company lot misses the point. The premises exception is not intended to extend an employer’s liability to the public sidewalks and streets around his building

Henville v. Southwest Airlines 142 Md app 79, 788 A 2d 210(2002)

Facts– employee of Southwest Airlines parked in a state owned parking lot at the airport available to authorized vehicles only,.but not the designated area for southwest employees to park.

Holding-As to parking lots owned by the employer, or maintained by the employer for his employees, the great majority of jurisdictions consider them part of the `premises,’ whether within the main company premises or separated from it. This rule is by no means confined to parking lots owned, controlled, or maintained by the employer. The doctrine has been applied when the lot, although not owned by the employer, was exclusively used, or used with the owner’s special permission, or just used, by the employees of this employer. Thus, if the owner of the building in which the employee works provides a parking lot for the convenience of all his tenants, or if a shopping center parking lot is used by employees of businesses located in the center, the rule is applicable. In May, the plaintiff parked in a mall parking lot provided for employees and business invitees of the mall. While the parking lot was not owned, controlled, or maintained by the May Department Stores Company, it was a parking lot provided for all of the employees and customers of the shopping mall’s tenants. Indeed, it was the “normal and customary means” by which employees went to and from their employers’ premises and thus the “passageway was an indispensable appurtenance.” May Department Stores, 307 Md. at 697, 517 A.2d 71 (quoting Frishkorn, 26 Ohio App.2d at 167, 270 N.E.2d 366). In contrast to May, it was not the “normal and customary” practice of Southwest employees to use Lot A to go to and from Southwest. Rather, the “normal and customary” practice of Southwest employees was to park their vehicles in the lots provided for their use—satellite parking lots A, B or C. As the circuit court explained: “I think that the difference [between May and the instant case] is that the case we have before us, all the parking lots are not open to all the employees of all the stores, 217*217 which we would call the tenants of the airport in this case. They distinctly made lots restricted. Only certain people can park in certain lots. And this particular lot is one of those restricted lots.” We agree. We further note that no evidence was adduced nor any claim made that Southwest had any responsibility for or control over Lot A or in the issuance of permits to park there. Indeed, as admitted by appellant in his testimony before the Commission, appellant, by virtue of his employment alone, would not have been able to park in or otherwise gain access to the parking lot. Nor was there any evidence that Southwest knew that its employees parked there. Rather, as noted, the parking area provided for Southwest employees was in satellite parking lots A, B or C. For these reasons, we believe appellant failed to satisfy the requirements of the “premises” exception of the going and coming rule.

Saylor v. Black & Decker 258 Md 605, 267 A2d 81 (1970)

Facts-James D. Saylor was being driven to work by a co-workerThey entered the 374 acre fenced plant complex through its only entrance gate, just off Hanover Pike. Once they did this they were on a thirteen acre parking lot provided and maintained by the employer. Groomes and Saylor were going to an area of the south parking lot which made it necessary to traverse the entire width of the lot from the front gate to the opposite side and then turn left twice

Holding-In Proctor-Silex v. DeBrick, 253 Md. 477, 252 A.2d 800 (1969) The principle emerging from that case is that there must be a work association between the part of the employer’s property where the employee was injured and the area in which he worked. We must hold that he was in error not to consider the nexus between the access road and the work premises. In Salomon v. Springfield Hospital, supra, we considered such a nexus. There we denied compensation to an employee who was injured in her automobile on an access road leading into the hospital. The distinguishing features of that case were, however, that the employee was not near the place where her duties were expected to be performed. Moreover, not only had she just entered the hospital grounds but the injury also occurred on a newly opened public highway which intersected the access road within the boundaries of the hospital grounds. In that case we noted “that `premises’ does not necessarily include all property owned by an employer. Dept. of Correction v. Harris, 232 Md. 180, 186, 192 A.2d 479; 610*610 E.I. DuPont de Nemours Co. v. Hall, 237 F.2d 145 ….” 250 Md. at 155. Those two cases involved employees injured in large work complexes when there was no integral relationship between the place of injury on the employer’s property and where they worked. In Harris, supra, claimant was a prison inmate who left his work area, the sewing shop, to check into the prison infirmary for non-work connected medical care. In the DuPont case, supra, Hall was injured on a 200,000 acre complex on an access road three miles from his designated work area. We are unwilling to express an opinion on how far removed from the work area an employee must be to have traveled beyond the zone of protection set up by the Workmen’s Compensation Act because fairness and our prior decisions demand that such determination be made in each case on its particular facts. Pariser Bakery v. Koontz, supra at 589; Consol. Engineering Co. v. Feikin, 188 Md. 420, 424-25, 52 A.2d 913 (1947).

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