The widow of a pilot who was killed by crossing a road to his hotel while away on business trips can collect full survivors' benefits, a Colorado Court of Appeals ruled Thursday and denied the employer's argument that the pilot was drunk at the time of his accident and thus the case – if it is replaceable – justifies a reduction in benefits.
It was about Luis Ordonez, a SkyWest Airlines Inc. pilot who had been drinking the night after a training flight in Denver, was in his employment when he was on his way to his hotel on the morning of February. 15, 2018, and whether state law that allows a 50% reduction in benefits for workers found to be intoxicated applies according to documents in SkyWest Airlines Inc. et. al. v Industrial Claims Appeals Office of the State of Colorado, et. was admitted to the Court of Appeal, Division VII, of Denver.
In the first question of compensability, the airline claimed that Mr Ordonez deviated from his duties when he went out in the evening, of which an administrative judge agreed and wrote that the pilot's departure from travel status had not ceased because he was drunk and had not returned to or appeared to be on their way to their hotel.
The Industrial Claim Appeals Office turned around and wrote that Mr Ordonez '"deviation ceased when he tried to return" to a hotel, according to court documents chronicle his wrongful return to the wrong hotel, where his colleague instead lived, and later tried to go to his own hotel several buildings away. The Board of Appeal confirmed on the grounds that Mr Ordonez had terminated his departure when he returned to the first hotel, even though it was not the correct hotel, according to documents.
Another issue was the pilot's blood alcohol level of more than twice the legal limit for a driver to be considered intoxicated. Under Colorado state law, benefits can be reduced by half if an injured worker is found to be intoxicated. Because Mr. Ordonez's blood samples were not properly preserved in accordance with state law, toxicological results are not allowed to impose a 50% reduction in benefits, both the Industrial Claim Appeals Office and the Appeals Court saw. Catalog