may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Carmen Rosario Bagley,
Filed February 25, 1997
Hennepin County District Court
File No. 9511198
Douglas E. Schmidt, Phillip R. Krass, Timothy F. Moynihan, Krass Monroe, P.A., 1100 Southpoint Office Center, 1650 W. 82nd St., Bloomington, MN 55431-1447 (for Appellant)
Karen Imus Johnson, Brian A. Wood, Rider, Bennett, Egan & Arundel, L.L.P., 2000 Metropolitan Centre, 333 S. Seventh St., Minneapolis, MN 55402 (for Respondent)
Considered and decided by Norton, Presiding Judge, Kalitowski, Judge, and Davies, Judge.
Appellant seeks reversal of a summary judgment ruling that the Minnesota Workers' Compensation Act provides the exclusive remedy for the injuries she sustained while attending an employer-sponsored party. We affirm.
Prior to attending the party, appellant, at her employer's request, met 10 to 15 out-of-town Navarre salespeople at the airport and accompanied them to their hotel. From the hotel, appellant escorted the salespeople to the party. Shortly after arriving at the party, appellant slipped and fell on the wet deck in respondent's back yard.
Appellant brought suit against respondent for negligence. The district court granted respondent's motion for summary judgment on the ground that the Minnesota Workers' Compensation Act provides appellant's exclusive remedy for her injury. Appellant appeals that decision.
(1) whether there are any genuine issues of material fact and (2) whether the lower courts erred in their application of the law.
State by Cooper v. French, 460 N.W.2d 2, 4 (Minn. 1990).
According to the Minnesota Workers' Compensation Act:
Every employer * * * is liable to pay compensation in every case of personal injury or death of an employee arising out of and in the course of employment without regard to the question of negligence.
Minn. Stat. § 176.021, subd. 1 (1996). Further, "[t]he liability of an employer * * * is exclusive and in the place of any other liability to such employee * * * ." Minn. Stat. § 176.031 (1996).
For an injury to arise out of employment, there must be a causal connection between the injury and the employment. Gibberd by Gibberd v. Control Data Corp., 424 N.W.2d 776, 780 (Minn. 1988). It is not necessary that the employment be the proximate cause of the injury. Id. It is enough if the injury follows "'as a natural incident of the work.'" Hanson v. Robitshek-Schneider Co., 209 Minn. 596, 599, 297 N.W. 19, 21 (1941) (quoting Novack v. Montgomery Ward & Co., 158 Minn. 495, 498, 198 N.W. 290, 292 (1924)).
Here, appellant was at the party at respondent's home by invitation and because she had been asked by her supervisor to accompany the out-of-town salespeople from the airport to the party. Appellant would not have been at respondent's home, but for her employment.
To satisfy the "in the course of employment" requirement, an employee's injury must occur "within the time and space boundaries of employment." Foley v. Honeywell, Inc., 488 N.W.2d 268, 272 (Minn. 1992) (citing Gibberd, 424 N.W.2d at 780)). When an injury occurs off the business premises or outside of regular business hours, the employee is still entitled to compensation if "'the employee was being of service to the employer'" at the time of injury. Sandmeyer v. City of Bemidji, 281 Minn. 217, 220, 161 N.W.2d 318, 320 (1968) (quoting Blattner v. Loyal Order of Moose, 264 Minn. 79, 81, 117 N.W.2d 570, 572 (1962)).
In light of the total context, appellant was being of service to her employer by escorting the out-of-town guests to the party and by being at the party to meet and socialize with the salespeople, other employees, and vendors.