On June 16, 2020, the Supreme Court of Georgia held, in Frett v. State Farm Employee Workers’ Compensation, that injuries suffered by an employee as a result of a slip and fall during a scheduled lunch break were compensable. With its holding, the court reversed the 85-year-old ruling, in Ocean Acc. & Guarantee Corp. v. Farr, that an injury sustained during a lunch break did not arise out of the employment because, at the time it occurred, the individual was engaged in an individual pursuit.
In its opinion, the court analyzed the two prerequisites for compensation: whether the injury arose in the course of employment and out of the employment. The court determined that the employee sustained an injury in the course of the employment because she was injured on the employer’s premises, in the middle of the workday, while preparing her lunch, which is an activity incidental to her employment and not beyond the scope of compensability. The court also found that the injuries arose out of the employment because she slipped and fell on a wet floor in the breakroom, which was causally connected to the conditions of the employment.
The court reversed the appellate decision that, relying on Farr, found the injuries noncompensable and overruled its precedent, reasoning that in Farr, the court failed to analyze causation when it determined that the worker’s injury did not arise out of the employment.
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