Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Scott D. Haines v. Equitable Gas Company, No. A-82036.
Stuart A. Karn, with him, Fred C. Trenor, Meyer, Darragh, Buckler, Bebenek & Eck, for petitioner.
John R. DeAngelis, for respondent, Scott D. Haines.
Judges Rogers, Colins and Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Colins.
[ 82 Pa. Commw. Page 437]
This is an appeal by Equitable Gas Company (petitioner) from an Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board affirming the referee's decision awarding benefits to Claimant, Scott Haines, and assessing attorney's fees against the petitioner for having raised an unreasonable contest.
The Claimant was injured while riding home from having read meters for his employer. He had in his possession cards to fill out, which he usually completed at home and turned in at work the next day. Once he had visited the addresses given him by his employer and filled out his cards, his day's work was finished. These practices were included in a collective bargaining agreement between the Claimant's union and his employer. Claimant drove his own vehicle (a motorcycle) while working, as well as to and from his home and office.
Petitioner argues that the Claimant was not in the course of employment when he was injured because he was on his way home at the time. Petitioner further claims that it was improper for the referee to have
[ 82 Pa. Commw. Page 438]
awarded attorney's fees absent evidence in the record that the contest was unreasonable. Petitioner relies upon the "going and coming rule" to show that the Claimant does not qualify for benefits. This rule stands for the proposition that:
an injury sustained while the employee is going to or coming from work does not occur in the course of employment unless one of the following exceptions is shown to exist:
1. Claimant's employment contract includes transportation ...