The Georgia Court of Appeals has ruled that a worker injured in a fall accident while on her lunch break on the way to her employer’s parking lot is eligible for Georgia worker compensation. The ruling overturns the court’s earlier rulings as a Georgia Supreme Court found in June 2020 that injuries sustained during lunch or bathroom breaks were considered to be while on the job.

For more than 80 years, Georgia courts have considered interruptions to be out of normal routine, which is a primary requirement for injured workers to receive incapacity benefits. Last year’s Georgia Supreme Court ruling in Frett v State Farm changed that long-standing precedent and allowed plaintiff Sheryl Daniel to file a claim for damages against her employer.

In Daniel v. Breman-Bowden Investment Co. et al. Sheryl Daniel stumbled on a sidewalk during her lunch break on the way to her car in the company parking lot. An administrative judge found that Daniel was entitled to benefits; However, the Appeals Department of the State Board of Workers’ Compensation determined that Daniel’s injury was not due to her employment as she stepped in during a regularly scheduled lunch break, and overturned the award.

Applying last year’s Georgia Supreme Court ruling, the Court of Appeals stated that Daniel’s accident “resulted in an injury resulting from both employment and employment,” and is therefore eligible for compensation under the State Employee Compensation Act.

The case was sent back to the Carroll County Superior Court for decision.