David C. Williams, Appellee,
Petromark Drilling, LLC, and Ace Fire Underwriters Inc. Co., Appellants.
1. K.S.A. 2010 Supp. 44-508(f) states in part: "The words 'arising out of and in the course of employment' as used in the workers compensation act shall not be construed to include injuries to the employee occurring while the employee is on the way to assume the duties of employment or after leaving such duties, the proximate cause of which injury is not the employer's negligence."
2. K.S.A. 2010 Supp. 44-501(a) is analyzed and applied.
Appeal from Workers Compensation Board.
Douglas C. Hobbs and Ryan D. Weltz, of Wallace, Saunders, Austin, Brown & Enochs, Chartered, of Overland Park, for appellants.
Scott J. Mann, of Mann Law Offices, LLC, of Hutchinson, for appellee.
Before Pierron, P.J., Bruns and Powell, JJ.
Petromark Drilling, LLC and Ace Fire Underwriters Insurance Company (Petromark) appeal from the Workers Compensation Board's (Board) reversal of the administrative law judge's (ALJ) denial of David C. Williams' workers compensation claim. Petromark argues that Williams' injuries are not compensable under either K.S.A. 2010 Supp. 44-508(f)'s going-and-coming rule or K.S.A. 2010 44-501(d)(1)'s "willful failure to use a guard" rule. We agree on the issue of the going-and-coming rule and reverse the Board's finding.
At the time of his automobile accident, Williams was 23 years old. He had been working as a back-up hand for Petromark since September 28, 2010. On his first day of work he signed a form, the back of which contained the following policy: "Seat belts will be used by all employees and all occupants of vehicles driven on official business. This requirement applies to all personal vehicles (which receive reimbursement for mileage) used by employees which are used to transport crews from home to the rig site and back."
Williams worked from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on driller Kenneth Roach's crew. The crew consisted of a back-up hand, Williams, who worked under the chain man, Shane Link, who worked under the derrick man, Garrett Schneip, who worked under the supervisor, Roach. The crew travelled to remote drill sites, all within a 10-mile radius of Bazine, Kansas. It took approximately a week to drill an oil well. When the drilling was completed, the rig was disassembled, loaded onto a truck, moved to a new drill site, and reassembled. Williams testified his job required him to travel to the drill sites. Roach testified his crew members could live anywhere but had to be willing to travel to the drill sites.
Roach and Link lived in Great Bend, which was about 50 miles from the drill site; Williams lived in Pawnee Rock, which was about 60 miles from the drill site; and Schneip lived near Bazine. Roach provided his crew members optional transportation to the drill sites from Great Bend. Williams traveled from his home in Pawnee Rock to Link's home in Great Bend. Link and Williams rode in Roach's personal vehicle from Link's home to the drill site and back. Williams then traveled from Great Bend to Pawnee Rock. Schneip drove his personal vehicle to and from the drill site. Roach was paid mileage because he was transporting his crew members. Whether they rode with Roach or drove their personal vehicles, the crew members were not compensated for the trips to and from the drill site—no hourly wage, no mileage, no per diem. Williams' pay started when he arrived at the drill site and ended when he clocked out at the site.
On October 10, 2010, Williams rode with his wife to Great Bend. He then rode with Roach to the drill site. Williams got Roach's permission to ride directly back to Pawnee Rock with Christopher LaMaster, who was filling in for Link. Williams did this for his own convenience—LaMaster's route was more direct and Williams would not have to wait for transportation ...