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Personal Business Stop on a Business Trip Outside Scope of Employment
Description Plaintiff was on short business trip, in company car, to make business deposit at a bank. He was injured in an accident when stopping by his personal bank before returning to the office. That part of his trip was personal and outside of the scope of employment, so workers' compensation does not apply in Nebraska.
Topic Employment Law
Key Words Workers' Compensation; Scope of Employment; Personal Travel
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Darnell, a manager for KN, left his office in a company car to go to the bank to make a deposit for KN. After leaving that bank, he drove to another bank to make a personal deposit. While stopped for traffic, he was struck from behind by another vehicle and was injured. He filed for workers' compensation benefits. Trial court held that the accident occurred during a deviation from the business purpose of his trip and that he was not within the scope of employment when injured. Darnell appealed.
Decision Affirmed. The court cited a treatise on workers' compensation law: "Where an employee deviates from the scope of his employment for purposes of his own, he is regarded as being outside the scope of his employment until he has returned either to the point of deviation from the path of duty, or to a point where in the performance of duty he is required to be." The fact that the deviation was "minor" does not change the fact that he was outside the scope of employment and not covered.
Citation Darnell v. KN Energy, Inc., 586 N.W.2d 484 (Ct. App., Neb., 1998)

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