April 18, 2013
The North Carolina Court of Appeals has upheld a decision that found an employee of an automotive dealership was entitled to North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Benefits for injuries sustained on a business trip.
In the case of Evans v. Hendrick Automotive Group, an office manager from a car dealership in Texas traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina, for an annual employee gathering. One evening during the event, a company-sponsored dinner was held. Alcoholic beverages were provided throughout and after the meal.
The office manager was intoxicated when she and a group of co-workers began a walk back to the hotel the company had also paid for. As the group approached the escalator, the plaintiff sat on the rail, hit a pillar, and fell roughly 30-feet to the ground.
The impact left the victim with numerous serious injuries that required several surgeries to repair. Upon the victim’s return to work, she was terminated a short time later.
The victim filed a claim against the company and was awarded temporary total disability and other benefits. The company appealed, but judges found in favor of the victim.
The court ruled since the event and alcohol was paid for by the company, the accident arose through the course of employment. Also, a worker can collect compensation for an injury that is caused by intoxication when the company provides the alcohol.
The North Carolina Personal Injury Attorneys with HensonFuerst hope the decision brings closure to the accident for the victim.