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Court of Appeals Finds Claim for Death Benefits Where Decedent Was Killed By a Motorist While Walking Toward a Bus Stop Is Not Compensable

In Molton v. The Kroger Company, 2017-Ohio-565, the 2nd District Court of Appeals found a death claim was not compensable under the coming and going rule.  After the claimant finished her shift at work, she left the employer’s premises and began walking across a street toward a bus stop.  While walking across a designated cross walk, a vehicle stuck and fatally injured the claimant.  The guardian of her minor child filed a claim for death benefits.

Administratively, the claim was disallowed at all hearing levels.  The claimant appealed to the common pleas court.  While the case was pending, the employer moved for summary judgment on the ground that the claim was barred by the coming and going rule.  The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the employer, and the claimant appealed to the court of appeals.

The court of appeals affirmed the trial court.  In its analysis of the coming and going rule, the court noted that none of the exceptions to the rule applied to the decedent’s circumstances.  Specifically, the court found the complier had no control over the scene of the accident, which was not on the employer’s premises and the employer gained no benefit from the decedent’s presence at the accident scene because she was no longer “on the clock.”

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