The widow of a 3M worker who died after falling out of the hotel window is not entitled to compensation for workers in the event of death, an appellate court held on Thursday.
I Riggs v. Old Republic Insurance Co. ] The Texas Court of Appeals, 11th District of Eastland, Texas, argued that the employee was not within the scope and extent of his employment when he died after a drinking night.
Earnest Riggs worked for St. Paul, Minnesota 3M Corp., and traveled to Singapore in October 2012 to assist with the installation of a new facility. The company provides the workers with hotel rooms and a shuttle service that transports them to and from the facility.
In the evening after his arrival, he met other workers in the hotel's executive lounge and consumed drinks before some of the group went on and continued drinking elsewhere. He left to return to his hotel, and an employee said Riggs appeared "extremely drunk." The next morning, he was found dead in a grassy area outside the hotel under the window of his room on the sixth floor.
His wife, Penny Riggs, filed a claim for compensation to workers' death benefits. Old Republic Insurance Co. denied the allegation on the grounds that Mr. Riggs was drunk and there was no evidence that he was during his tenure and at the time of his death.
Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers Compensation Hear Officer ruled that Mr. Riggs' death could not be compensated because it occurred while he was drunk. His widow applied for a trial, but a court of law issued a summary judgment to the insurer. She appealed again, arguing that her husband's business trip "stemmed from his employer's business issues" and that his death could therefore be compensated.
The Court of Appeal upheld the decision. Although Mr Riggs traveled on behalf of his employer, the court said, his widow could not provide any evidence that he acted during the course of the work when he fell from his hotel window. She also argued that there was some evidence that he was not intoxicated, but the Board of Appeal held that since she failed to provide evidence that he was performing work at the time of the incident, it did not need to address whether he was intoxicated or not in his case. occurred.