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June 24, 2013

MSC denies worker's comp for injury at work-site parking lot owned by third-party

On Friday, in lieu of granting leave to appeal, the Michigan Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals' judgment and remanded Mohney v. American International Group to the Michigan Compensation Appellate Commission ('MCAC'). The MCAC was instructed to enter an order denying plaintiff's claim for worker's compensation benefits. The Court found that the plaintiff's injuries did not arise 'out of and in the course of' his employment because his employer did not 'own, lease, or maintain' the parking lot on which he slipped and fell. Accordingly, the facts of this case do not afford plaintiff's coverage under the rule articulated in Simkins v. General Motors Corp., 453 Mich. 703, 723 (1996). In Simkins, the Court held that MCL 418.301(3), which provides that an 'employee going to or from his or her work, while on the premises where the employee's work is to be performed . . . is presumed to be in the course of his or her employment,' is applicable where an employee is injured on property 'not owned, leased, or maintained by his employer,' as long as the employee was 'traveling in a reasonably direct route between the parking area owned, leased, or maintained by the employer and the work-site . . . .' The Supreme Court declined to extend Simkins to the present circumstances because the employer did not 'own, lease, or maintain' the parking lot on which plaintiff slipped and fell.

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