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In re Compensation of Beaudry

Court of Appeals of Oregon

October 4, 2017

In the Matter of the Compensation of William R. Beaudry, II, DCD, Claimant.
v.
SAIF CORPORATION; and West Coast Construction, Inc., Respondents. Sarah BEAUDRY, on behalf of William R. Beaudry, II, Deceased, Petitioner,

          Argued and submitted January 9, 2017

         Workers' Compensation Board 1401240.

          Edward J. Harri argued the cause for petitioner. With him on the briefs were Michael R. Stebbins and Stebbins and Coffey.

          Beth Cupani argued the cause and fled the brief for respondents.

          Before Tookey, Presiding Judge, and DeHoog, Judge, and Sercombe, Senior Judge. [*]

         Case Summary:

         Claimant, the surviving spouse of William Beaudry, seeks review of an order of the Workers' Compensation Board upholding the denial of her claim for workers' compensation benefits as a result of Beaudry's death in a motor vehicle accident.

         Held:

         The board did not err in concluding that Beaudry was a traveling employee on a distinct departure from his employment at the time of the accident and that the accident therefore is not compensable.

         [288 Or. 140]TOOKEY, P. J.

         Claimant, the surviving spouse of William Beaudry, seeks review of an order of the Workers' Compensation Board holding that she is not entitled to compensation for Beaudry's death in a motor vehicle accident. We review the pertinent factual findings for substantial evidence and the legal conclusions for errors of law. ORS 656.298(7); ORS 183.482(7), (8). Because we conclude that Beaudry was a traveling employee on a "distinct departure from his employment on a personal errand" at the time of the accident, Sosnoski v. SAIF, 184 Or.App. 88, 90, 55 P.3d 533, rev den, 335 Or. 114 (2002) (determination of occurrence of "distinct departure"), we affirm the board's order.

         The facts are undisputed. Beaudry, who lived in Coos Bay, Oregon, was working for employer in Newport, Oregon, for two weeks, installing pilings on the waterfront. Employer permitted Beaudry to stay in a hotel in Newport and reimbursed him for his expenses. Employer permitted employees to use company vehicles for personal travel and also paid for gasoline for personal trips not exceeding 100 miles.

         After his shift had ended on November 18, 2013, Beaudry agreed to accompany a coworker, Smith, to Philomath, Oregon, so that Smith could shop for a Christmas gift for his wife. Smith drove employer's vehicle and Beaudry rode along. Philomath is approximately 46 miles from Newport. Beaudry had plans that evening to go to dinner with his supervisor when he returned to Newport. He was killed on the return trip in a head-on collision on Highway 20, approximately 20 miles from Newport. Employer concedes that neither Beaudry nor Smith broke any employment rules or policies while using the vehicle.

         Claimant sought workers' compensation benefits related to Beaudry's death, but employer denied the claim. Employer conceded that Beaudry was a traveling employee who ordinarily would be considered to be continuously within the course of employment, even while on a personal errand, as long as the errand is reasonably related to the claimant's travel status. See SAIF v. Scardi.218 Or.App. 403, 408-11, 180 P.3d 56, rev den,345 Or. 175 (2008) (explaining rule). But in [288 Or. 141] denying the claim, employer contended that Beaudry's death occurred during a "distinct departure on a personal errand" that was ...


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