NY Employee’s Shoulder Injury While Scanning Parking Pass Not Compensable

An employee, who sustained a shoulder injury as she reached out of her car window to scan her parking pass at a parking garage near her place of employment, did not sustain an injury arising out of and in the course of her employment, held a divided New York appellate court in a decision affirming that finding by the state’s Workers’ Compensation Board [Matter of Grover v State Ins. Fund, 2018 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 6568 (3rd Dept., Oct. 4, 2018)].

The majority acknowledged that parking lot injuries could be compensable if the lot constituted part of the employer’s premises. While the parking lot in question had an area specifically dedicated to building tenants—including the respective employer—and while the employer provided free parking to the injured employee and assigned her a special parking space, the majority noted the garage was not owned nor maintained by the employer, but by third parties. The majority also stressed that the parking garage/lot was was open to the public, who could access the area by taking a ticket at the same kiosk that the employee used to scan her parking pass.

The majority acknowledged the evidence would also have supported a contrary result, but held there was substantial evidence to support the Board’s decision.

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