from the Industrial Commission of the State of Idaho.
determination of the Industrial Commission is
Gardner Law Office, Boise, attorneys for Appellant. Michael
G. McPeek argued.
Bradford S. Eidam, PLLC, Boise, attorney for Respondent.
Bradford S. Eidam argued.
Nature of the Case
Company Inc. ("2M") appeals an Industrial
Commission ("Commission") decision that determined
Matthew Atkinson was entitled to reasonable medical benefits
for injuries he sustained in an accident on his way to work.
The Commission found that an exception to the "going and
coming" rule applied based on 2M's intent to
compensate Atkinson for his travel time while going to or
coming from work. 2M and its surety, Employer Assurance
Company, timely appealed. We affirm on different grounds.
Factual and Procedural Background
time of his accident, Atkinson was a salaried employee of 2M,
a wholesaler of well drilling and irrigation supplies.
Atkinson was a territorial sales person for 2M and was
responsible for providing 2M's hallmark "Legendary
Service" to customers by supplying technical assistance
at the customer's place of business, running parts to
them, and assisting in the installation of those parts. 2M
provided Atkinson with a pickup truck owned by the company so
that he had the ability to call on potential and existing
customers. Atkinson would respond to an average of two or
three emergency customer calls per week, often late in the
evening. Atkinson was issued a company credit card to
purchase fuel for the pickup truck, and 2M paid for any
necessary vehicle servicing and maintenance. 2M also required
Atkinson to work one Saturday every five weeks staffing
2M's Meridian office from approximately 8:00 a.m. to
12:00 p.m. Atkinson was scheduled to work on March 11, 2017,
after switching Saturday shifts with a coworker.
March 10, 2017, Atkinson drove his personal vehicle to the
Whitewater Saloon for a date night with his wife. Neither
felt comfortable driving afterwards so they left the car
there and took a taxi home. The following morning
Atkinson's wife needed to retrieve her car to pick up
their children who had spent the night at their
grandparent's house. Atkinson planned to drop his wife
off at Whitewater Saloon and go on to work for his shift; as
such, Atkinson and his wife left their home together in his
company pickup truck the morning of March 11, 2017.
Whitewater Saloon is on Atkinson's usual route to
as the couple was leaving their subdivision, Atkinson noticed
he could not see clearly out of the front windshield due to
frost, so he pulled over to the side of the road to scrape
the windshield with a credit card. As he was scraping the
windshield he was struck by another vehicle and sustained
significant injuries to his right leg and shoulder.
24, 2017, Atkinson filed a complaint with the Commission. A
hearing was conducted on September 13, 2017, to determine the
compensability of Atkinson's claim. The Referee found
that Atkinson was entitled to benefits because he was injured
in the course of his employment as he was traveling to work
in employer-provided transportation when the accident
occurred. Specifically, the Referee held that Hansen v.
Estate of Harvey, 119 Idaho 333, 806 P.2d 426 (1991)
("Hansen"), was controlling and
Commission confirmed that Atkinson was entitled to reasonable
medical benefits for injuries sustained in the March 11,
2017, accident, but it rejected the Referee's reliance
upon Hansen. The Commission issued its own findings
of fact and conclusions of law that found Case of
Barker, 105 Idaho 108, 666 P.2d 635 (1983)
("Barker I") to be dispositive. 2M and its
surety, Employer Assurance Company, timely appealed to this
Issues on Appeal
Whether the Commission applied the correct legal standards in
determining that Atkinson's accident occurred in the
course of his employment with 2M.
Whether the Commission erred by failing to make a specific
factual finding concerning whether Atkinson's accident
arose out of his employment with 2M.
Whether Atkinson is entitled to attorney fees on appeal.
Standard of Review
reviewing a decision of the Industrial Commission, this Court
exercises free review over questions of law."
Sundquist v. Precision Steel & Gypsum, Inc., 141
Idaho 450, 453, 111 P.3d 135, 138 (2005) (citing Uhl v.
Ballard Medical Products, Inc., 138 Idaho 653, 657, 67
P.3d 1265, 1269 (2003)). However, this Court will uphold the
Commission's factual findings so long as they are
supported by substantial and competent evidence. Id.
"Substantial and competent evidence is relevant evidence
that a reasonable mind might accept to support a
conclusion." Id. "To determine whether an
accident occurred arising out of and in the course of [a]
Claimant's employment, the Court determines whether the
Commission correctly applied the law of the worker's