Verdict - Summer 2017 - 38

> WORKERS' COMP UPDATES

STANDARD OF REVIEW -
BY DYLAN BESS

TRAVELING EMPLOYEES/DOCTRINE

for a work-related purpose at the time he

that of the Appellate Division. Accordingly, the

OF "CONTINUOUS EMPLOYMENT"

was injured.

Court of Appeals reversed the Superior Court. 3

The Avrett Plumbing Company v. Castillo,

Castillo appealed to the Superior Court of
Richmond County, which reinstated the award

AWARDS AND ISSUES APPEALABLE

This case involved Georgia's doctrine

of benefits. Avrett appealed to the Court of

Kendrick v. SRA Track, Inc., 2017 Ga.

of continuous employment, but ultimately

Appeals, arguing that the Superior Court did

App. 287, June 20, 2017.

turned on factual findings made by the State

not give proper deference to the Appellate

Board of Worker's Compensation. The Court

Division's factual findings.

340 Ga. App. 671, March 10, 2017.

In this case, the Court of Appeals considered whether the Board's denial of an

of Appeals held that the Superior Court did

Under Georgia's doctrine of continuous

Employer/Insurer's motion to dismiss a claim

not give proper deference to those findings,

employment, an employee who is required by

is appealable beyond the Board and found

but substituted its own instead.

his employment to lodge and work within an

that it is not.

Castillo was an employee of Avrett, a

area geographically limited by the necessity of

Edwards filed a claim for additional medical

plumbing company based in Augusta. His

being available for work on the employer's job

treatment for his compensable work injuries.

work hours were Monday through Friday,

site is in continuous employment for purposes

The Employer/Insurer filed a motion to dis-

8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. Avrett provided Castillo

of the Workers' Compensation Act. Activities

miss the claim, arguing that it was barred

with a hotel room in Augusta because he was

performed in a reasonable and prudent manner

by the statute of limitation under O.C.G.A.

not a resident of Augusta. Although he did not

for the health and comfort of the employee,

§ 34-9-82(a). The ALJ denied the motion and

work weekends, Castillo was allowed to use

including recreational activities, arise out of

the Appellate Division adopted and affirmed

the hotel room over the weekend because

and are in the course of the employment.1

the ALJ's findings and conclusions. The

it was a seven-day weekly rental arrange-

Here, although the ALJ found that Castillo

Employer/Insurer appealed to the Superior

ment; however, he was only paid for the hours

was "required by his employment to live away

Court, which affirmed the Board's decision.

that he actually worked. Because financial

from home while working," the Appellate

O.C.G.A. § 34-9-105(b) provides that only

and transportation reasons made it difficult

Division disagreed and found that Castillo

a final award, order, judgment or decision

to travel home each weekend at his own

"primarily remained in Augusta over the

of the Board is subject to appeal to the

expense, Castillo chose to remain in Augusta

weekend, not for any employment-related

Superior Court. Because the Board did not

over the weekends.

reasons but due to personal transportation

issue a compensation award, the Court of

On a Sunday, while in Augusta, Castillo

and financial constraints." The Superior

Appeals held that the Board's ruling did not

tripped and broke his ankle while running a

Court made a contradictory factual finding

constitute a "final order or judgment" as

personal errand to buy groceries. At the time,

when it determined that Castillo was pres-

contemplated by O.C.G.A. § 34-9-105(b). 4

he was off work and was not "on-call."

ent in Augusta on the day he was injured to

As such, the Superior Court was without

prepare for work on Monday.

jurisdiction to consider the appeal and should

Castillo sought workers' compensation
benefits under the theory that he was a con-

In Georgia workers' compensation cases,

tinuous employee at the time of his injury.

the factual findings of the Appellate Division

The ALJ granted benefits, but upon Avrett's

must be affirmed when supported by any evi-

Premier Elevator Co./SOI v. Edwards,

appeal, the Appellate Division of the State

dence in the administrative record.

341 Ga. App. 235, April 13, 2017.

2

have dismissed it.

Board of Workers' Compensation vacated

Because the record contained some evi-

Here, the Court of Appeals again consid-

the ALJ's award based on its finding that

dence supporting the Appellate Division's

ered the doctrine of continuous employment

Castillo was not a continuous employee

conclusion, the Superior Court lacked author-

and held that it did not apply as the employee

because he was not away from his residence

ity to substitute its own factual findings for

Continued on page 42

38

Georgia Trial Lawyers Association



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Verdict - Summer 2017

President’s Message
Don’t Stop Fighting: Overcoming Obstacles Leads to Record Verdict in Camden County
Amazing Things Happen When Women Get Involved!
AAJ Addresses Top Concerns with Congress
Pro Bono Representation: A Bond Forged between a Naval Officer and Trial Lawyer
3 Tips for Defeating Daubert Motions
Common Issues to Stay on Guard in Cases Involving Tortious Security Officers
The Confusing Question of Causation in Criminal Attack Premises Liability Cases
Technology: Notetaking for the Digital Lawyer
New Lawyers’ Corner: 6 Questions for Verdict
Pope Langdale: Community Investments for a Cause
Case Updates: Federal Employees Health Benefits Act of 1959
Workers’ Comp: Standard of Review — “Any Evidence” Rule
Thank You, Civil Justice PAC Contributors!
GTLA Champion Members
Welcome New GTLA Members!
Index to Advertisers/Advertiser.com
Verdict - Summer 2017 - Intro
Verdict - Summer 2017 - cover1
Verdict - Summer 2017 - cover2
Verdict - Summer 2017 - 3
Verdict - Summer 2017 - 4
Verdict - Summer 2017 - 5
Verdict - Summer 2017 - 6
Verdict - Summer 2017 - 7
Verdict - Summer 2017 - 8
Verdict - Summer 2017 - President’s Message
Verdict - Summer 2017 - Don’t Stop Fighting: Overcoming Obstacles Leads to Record Verdict in Camden County
Verdict - Summer 2017 - 11
Verdict - Summer 2017 - Amazing Things Happen When Women Get Involved!
Verdict - Summer 2017 - AAJ Addresses Top Concerns with Congress
Verdict - Summer 2017 - Pro Bono Representation: A Bond Forged between a Naval Officer and Trial Lawyer
Verdict - Summer 2017 - 15
Verdict - Summer 2017 - 3 Tips for Defeating Daubert Motions
Verdict - Summer 2017 - 17
Verdict - Summer 2017 - Common Issues to Stay on Guard in Cases Involving Tortious Security Officers
Verdict - Summer 2017 - 19
Verdict - Summer 2017 - 20
Verdict - Summer 2017 - 21
Verdict - Summer 2017 - 22
Verdict - Summer 2017 - 23
Verdict - Summer 2017 - The Confusing Question of Causation in Criminal Attack Premises Liability Cases
Verdict - Summer 2017 - 25
Verdict - Summer 2017 - 26
Verdict - Summer 2017 - 27
Verdict - Summer 2017 - Technology: Notetaking for the Digital Lawyer
Verdict - Summer 2017 - 29
Verdict - Summer 2017 - 30
Verdict - Summer 2017 - New Lawyers’ Corner: 6 Questions for Verdict
Verdict - Summer 2017 - 32
Verdict - Summer 2017 - 33
Verdict - Summer 2017 - Pope Langdale: Community Investments for a Cause
Verdict - Summer 2017 - 35
Verdict - Summer 2017 - Case Updates: Federal Employees Health Benefits Act of 1959
Verdict - Summer 2017 - 37
Verdict - Summer 2017 - Workers’ Comp: Standard of Review — “Any Evidence” Rule
Verdict - Summer 2017 - 39
Verdict - Summer 2017 - Thank You, Civil Justice PAC Contributors!
Verdict - Summer 2017 - Welcome New GTLA Members!
Verdict - Summer 2017 - Index to Advertisers/Advertiser.com
Verdict - Summer 2017 - cover3
Verdict - Summer 2017 - cover4
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