may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1998).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Bradley L. Schulz, by his mother and natural guardian,
Katherine Schulz,and Katherine Schulz, individually,
American Compensation Insurance Company,
Park 'N Go of Minnesota, et al.,
Filed March 2, 1999
Hennepin County District Court
File No. 982295
Theodore M. Stone, 1900 Interchange Tower, 600 South Highway 169, Minneapolis, MN 55426 (for respondents)
Steven L. Theesfeld, Yost & Baill, L.L.P., 2350 One Financial Plaza, 120 South Sixth Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402 (for intervenor)
Kenneth W. Dodge, William M. Hart, Kevin J. Craig, Meagher & Geer, P.L.L.P., 4200 Multifoods Tower, 33 South Sixth Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402 (for appellants)
Considered and decided by Kalitowski, Presiding Judge, Short, Judge, and Klaphake, Judge.
After being injured in an accident while riding home in a company vehicle driven by his manager, Bradley L. Schulz (Schulz) received $114,477.94 in workers' compensation benefits. Schulz subsequently sued his employer, Park `N Go of Minnesota (employer), and the estate of his manager for negligence and gross negligence. The workers' compensation carrier intervened, and the employer moved for summary judgment on subject matter jurisdiction grounds pursuant to Minn. Stat. §§ 176.011, subd. 16, .031, .061 (1998). On appeal from a denial of summary judgment, the employer argues the trial court erred as a matter of law by concluding it did not regularly furnish transportation to Schulz between his home and work. By cross-appeal, Schulz and the workers' compensation carrier argue the trial court erred by concluding, in the alternative, that Schulz's receipt of benefits bars a suit against a co-worker for gross negligence. We affirm.
On appeal from summary judgment, we examine whether there are any genuine issues of material fact and whether the trial court erred in its application of the law. State by Cooper v. French, 460 N.W.2d 2, 4 (Minn. 1990); see Minn. R. Civ. P. 56.03 (setting forth trial court standard for summary judgment); see also McGowan v. Our Savior's Lutheran Church, 527 N.W.2d 830, 833 (Minn. 1995) (determining denial of summary judgment is immediately appealable when motion is based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction under exclusivity provision of Workers' Compensation Act). We must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the party against whom judgment was granted. Fabio v. Bellomo, 504 N.W.2d 758, 761 (Minn. 1993).
The Workers' Compensation Act (Act) is an employee's exclusive remedy against an employer for employment-related personal injuries. See Minn. Stat. §§ 176.001 (1998) (defining intent of Act), 176.031 (dictating Act provides exclusive employer liability). Although injuries sustained during an employee's commute to work do not fall under the Act, there is a statutory exception when an employer "regularly" furnishes transportation. See Minn. Stat. § 176.011, subd. 16 (defining Act coverage for regular transportation); McConville v. City of St. Paul, 528 N.W.2d 230, 232 (Minn. 1995) (finding employer-operated vehicle is extension of workplace and regularly furnishing transportation implies injury arises out of and in course of employment).
The facts are undisputed. The employer argues the trial court erred by concluding Schulz did not receive "regular" transportation. However, the record demonstrates: (1) Schulz frequently arranged his own transportation either by bus or riding with a friend; (2) Schulz's manager frequently refused to give Schulz transportation; (3) one month before the accident, Schulz ceased working due to difficulties with transportation; and (4) Schulz testified he did not have an understanding that his manager would regularly provide transportation. Given these undisputed facts, transportation was not a condition of the employment contract. See Bonfig v. Megarry Bros., Inc., 294 Minn. 180, 182, 199 N.W.2d 796, 798 (1972) (holding workers' compensation applies when employer regularly furnishes transportation, pursuant to express or implied understanding or agreement that transportation was condition of employment relationship); Gehrke v. Weiss, 204 Minn. 445, 449, 284 N.W. 434, 436 (1939) (concluding that, although no formal contract is required, both employer and employee must contemplate and understand that employer will transport employee to and from workplace). The trial court correctly concluded Schulz's injuries did not arise out of his employment. Because we affirm the trial court's conclusion on the transportation issue, we need not reach the question of whether Schulz may recover workers' compensation benefits and pursue a claim of gross negligence against the estate.