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Williams v. Petromark Drilling, LLC

Supreme Court of Kansas

June 6, 2014

DAVID C. WILLIAMS, Appellee,
v.
PETROMARK DRILLING, LLC, and ACE FIRE UNDERWRITERS INS. CO., Appellants

Review of the judgment of the Court of Appeals in 49 Kan.App.2d 24, 303 P.3d 719 (2013).

Appeal from Workers Compensation Board.

Judgment of the Court of Appeals reversing the Workers Compensation Board is reversed. Judgment of the Workers Compensation Board is affirmed.

SYLLABUS

BY THE COURT

When the evidence on a workers compensation claim is not amenable to only one factual finding as a matter of law, an appellate court errs by deciding it in that way. The reviewing court's responsibility is to examine the record as a whole to determine whether the Workers Compensation Board's factual determinations are supported by substantial evidence. This analysis requires the court to (1) review evidence both supporting and contradicting the agency's findings; (2) examine the presiding officer's credibility determination, if any; and (3) review the agency's explanation as to why the evidence supports its findings. In this case, the Court of Appeals' decision reversing the Workers Compensation Board on the ground that undisputed facts in the record could lead to only one legal conclusion under the " going and coming rule" of K.S.A. 2010 Supp. 44-508(f) must be reversed and the Board's decision affirmed.

Douglas C. Hobbs, of Wallace, Saunders, Austin, Brown & Enochs, Chartered, of Wichita, and Ryan D. Weltz, of the same firm, were on the brief for appellants.

Scott J. Mann, of Mann Law Offices, LLC, of Hutchinson, was on the brief for appellee.

BEIER, J. MORITZ, J., not participating.

OPINION

Page 1058

Beier, J.

Claimant David Williams petitioned this court for review of the Court of Appeals decision reversing his Workers Compensation Board award. Because the evidence on whether Williams was at work or leaving work at the time of his injury was not amenable to only one factual finding, the Court of Appeals erred by deciding it as a matter of law. We therefore reverse the Court of Appeals and hold that substantial competent evidence supported the Board's factual finding in Williams' favor.

Williams worked the dayshift for respondent Petromark Drilling, LLC, an oil drilling company, at drill sites approximately 60 miles from his home. Ordinarily, on days that Williams worked, he would [299 Kan. 793] travel to Great Bend and meet his supervisor, Kenneth Roach. Roach would then drive Williams and other members of the crew in Roach's personal vehicle to and from the drill sites. Petromark reimbursed Roach mileage but did not pay Williams and the other crew members for their travel time or a per diem. If Roach was unavailable to provide transportation, the crew members would be reimbursed mileage for driving their personal vehicles to the drill sites.

On the day of Williams' injury, instead of getting a ride after work with Roach, he road with Chris LaMaster, who had worked the night shift and then stayed on for the day shift to fill in the short-handed crew. When Williams informed Roach that he was going to ride with LaMaster, Roach said that would be ...


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