Pennsylvania Court Rules Custodian Is Entitled to Workers Compensation

July 13, 2021

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court ruled that a custodial worker who fell from a shuttle is entitled to workers compensation even though he was injured before he reached the job site, Business Insurance reports.

Maurice Stewart was assigned to clean a building occupied by GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania on April 6, 2018. While exiting a shuttle van operated by GSK to begin his shift, he fell and injured his left foot and ankle at the entrance of the building, according to Business Insurance.

Stewart sought workers compensation benefits, but they were denied by the employer. A workers compensation judge and an appeal board said the denial was affirmed because the custodial services company had “no connection whatsoever” with the employees’ transportation to work. Additionally, they said the fall from the shuttle did not occur on the company premises.

Steward appealed—Stewart v. Workers Compensation Appeal Board—and the commonwealth court reversed the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Appeal Board’s ruling. The court found that Stewart had already arrived at the front entrance of the building when he fell. Therefore, he was no longer commuting which the “coming and going rule” argued by the custodial company did not uphold in this situation. Additionally, the court held that Stewart was present on the ground where he fell which “constituted a condition of the premises” that contributed to his injuries.

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