Jesse J. Atkins, Appellant,
Webcon and Kansas Building Industry Workers Compensation Fund, Appellees.
BY THE COURT
the interpretation or construction of the Kansas Workers
Compensation Act, K.S.A. 44-501 et seq., is a question of
law, once the interpretation or construction has occurred,
the ultimate question of whether an accident arose out of and
in the course of employment is a question of fact.
injury happens in the course of employment when it occurs
within the period of the employment, at a place where the
employee reasonably may be, and while the employee is
fulfilling work duties or engaged in doing something
incidental to those duties.
of the judgment of the Court of Appeals in an unpublished
opinion filed January 22, 2016.
from the Workers Compensation Board.
Melinda G. Young, of Bretz & Young, of Hutchinson, argued
the cause and was on the brief for appellant.
Artman, general counsel, Kansas Building Industry Workers
Compensation Fund, argued the cause and was on the brief for
early morning hours of June 16, 2009, Jesse J. Atkins was
walking from a bar to his hotel when he was hit by a drunk
driver. He suffered catastrophic injuries. At the time,
Atkins was a laborer working an out-of-town roofing job.
Atkins sought workers compensation benefits, but the Workers
Compensation Board denied compensation, finding Atkins'
injuries did not arise out of and in the course of his
employment. The Court of Appeals affirmed. We hold
substantial evidence supports the Board's decision to
and Procedural Background
relevant facts in this case are not in dispute. Atkins worked
for Webcon, Inc. as a general laborer. Webcon was a
Hutchinson-based commercial roofing company. It employed
multiple work crews and contracted for both local and
out-of-state jobs. Crew members were paid hourly and would
receive a small bonus if they finished the job on time.
time of his injuries, Atkins was working on a crew that was
reroofing a grain elevator in Enid, Oklahoma. Webcon expected
it would take several months to complete the job. Atkins was
considered part of Webcon's "core group" of
laborers who were typically assigned to large or difficult
projects. For this job, the crew would meet on Monday
mornings at Webcon's premises, load into company trucks,
and travel to Enid for the week. The crew returned to
Hutchinson on Friday afternoons. They were paid while
traveling between Hutchinson and Enid. Although crew members
were ostensibly permitted to drive their ...