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Course and Scope of Employment - Equal Exposure Defense

In order to have a compensable workers’ compensation claim the injury must have occurred during the course and scope of the employment. An area that becomes problematic for the employee, is when the employee is going to and from work. This situation often occurs when the employee is leaving work and falls in the parking lot. Whether this injury is compensable under workers’ compensation, generally involves two different factors: 1) the amount of control the employer has over the parking lot and 2) whether the employee was subject to this harm equally in other locations.

The latter factor is known as the “equal exposure” defense. This defense is applied when the hazard that caused the employee to fall is common to the general geographical area, and the employee did not encounter a hazard unique to the employer’s controlled area. Generally, the “equal exposure” defense will be invoked in order to avoid awarding compensation. However, in the recent case Scholastic v David Viley, suggest that the equal exposure test has limited application. More specifically, if there is equal exposure to the same risk in the same area the equal exposure test does not apply. Thereby abrogating considerations of conditions unrelated to the work conditions. If you have been injured at work call the attorney at Meyerkord & Kurth to help with your workers’ compensation claim. Contact us today at 314-300-3000 or 314-436-9958.