Buczynski v. Indus. Comm'n of Utah

In Buczynski v. Indus. Comm'n of Utah, 934 P.2d 1169 (Utah Ct. App. 1997), the claimant was employed as an assistant professor at Utah State University. As part of her employment, claimant was required to present a scholarly paper at a convention in Baltimore, Maryland. 934 P.2d at 1170. The court noted the details: In accordance with the general plan to attend the Baltimore convention, petitioner and her companion flew on March 24, 1992, from Salt Lake City to Dulles International Airport, near Washington, D.C. Instead of driving to the Baltimore area, however, petitioner and her companion drove in the opposite direction to McGaheysville, Virginia, located some 150 miles from the convention site. Upon arriving in McGaheysville, petitioner and her companion checked into a room at the Massanutten Hotel, which they had reserved some months earlier. One amenity offered by the hotel was a hot tub, which petitioner and her companion enjoyed on the evening of March 26. After relaxing in the hot tub, petitioner exited to change into her sweatpants. While walking in the direction of the changing room, petitioner stepped into a puddle of water, apparently caused by run-off from the adjacent swimming pool, and fell, injuring her right knee. Emergency personnel were summoned to transport petitioner to the emergency room, where she was diagnosed as having knee strain and a "possible quadriceps tear." (934 P.2d at 1170-71.) The injury suffered by claimant was found to be not compensable, not because the injury happened while exiting a hot tub, but because the court determined that claimant intended the entire two day trip to Virginia, 150 miles from the convention site, to be more personal than work-related, and thus the injury did not arise out of or in the course of her employment. 934 P.2d at 1176-77.