Slip and Fall in Employee Parking Area Was Compensable
The Third Department determined that a slip and fall in an employee parking area can be compensable under Workers’ Compensation. The Board’s finding that the injury was compensable in this case was affirmed:
As a general rule, “accidents that occur in public areas away from the workplace and outside of work hours are not compensable” … . However, “by making arrangements for employee parking, [an employer] may be found to have extended its premises to the area of the approved parking facility so that an accident that occurs therein may be found to have arisen within the precincts of the claimant’s employment, rendering it compensable. This is particularly true where the claimant is injured on the way to work and in such physical proximity to his or her worksite as to establish a relationship between the accident and the employment”… .
Here, claimant testified that following the approval of her application to park in the subject lot, she was given a hang tag to display in her vehicle’s window and a parking fee was deducted from her biweekly paycheck … . Although a portion of the parking lot occasionally was set aside for vendors participating in events at the nearby Times Union Center, the lot was not – to the best of claimant’s knowledge – open to the public during the work week. Finally, claimant described the route traveled from the surface lot to her building and testified that “[e]veryone” who parked in the vicinity of the lot “usually [took the] same route into [the employer’s] building”… . Matter of Stratton v NYS Comptroller…, 514766, 3rd Dept 12-12-13