No benefits for airport worker injured walking through terminal

A Florida appeals court ruled Wednesday that an airport employee was not entitled to benefits for an injury sustained while walking through the terminal to a shuttle stop.

Felix Aquino worked as a baggage handler for American Airlines. In March 2019, after clocking in at Miami International Airport, he injured his right calf muscle while stepping off a sidewalk on his way to a parking lot shuttle bus stop, according to Aquino versus American Airlinesfiled with the Tallahassee 1st District Court of Appeals.

Mr Aquino reported the accident at work the next day and went to an on-site clinic, which provided painkillers, crutches and a “cam boot”, with instructions to stay home and take it easy. rest. He then underwent magnetic resonance imaging and was referred to an orthopedist. The airline later denied a workers’ compensation claim.

A compensation claims judge ruled that Mr. Aquino was not entitled to compensation for his injury under the “come and go” rule of Florida workers’ law, barring the claim.

The Court of Appeal recognized the “places rule” as an exception to the comings and goings rule. The premises rule states that an injury sustained by an employee with fixed hours and place of work who is injured on the way to or from work is during the course of employment if the injury occurred on the premises of the employer.

The rule applies when the injury occurs in an area where the employer has actual dominance or control, the court said.

Mr. Aquino argued that the employee parking lot, where he was going when he was injured, was part of his employer’s premises. The court found that American exercised no real dominance or control over the field, noting that the injury occurred in a public space that essentially served as a public sidewalk, which was not owned, rented or maintained by American. .

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