A Georgia appeals court ruled that a worker cannot sue a co-worker who hit him with a car in the employer’s parking lot because the driver was on his way to work and therefore workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy.
Thomas Odom had finished his shift at 7 a.m. and was putting his bag in the back of his truck when he was struck and injured by a car driven by Richard Franklin, who was 10 minutes late for his shift, according to Tuesday’s ruling by Georgia Court of Appeals i Odom v. Franklin.
Mr. Odom filed a workers’ compensation claim with his employer and later filed a negligence action against Mr. Franklin, seeking summary judgment and arguing that the complaint was barred by the exclusive remedy provision of state employee statutes. The district court granted the request.
The Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed, writing that the driver was under his employment when he met Odom in the parking lot, and that state law states “that an employee̵7;s term of employment includes a reasonable time for entering and exiting the workplace, while on the employer’s premises, and that an employer-owned parking space is considered part of the employer’s premises.”