Briley v. Farm Fresh, Inc

In Briley v. Farm Fresh, Inc., 240 Va. 194, 196-99, 396 S.E.2d 835, 836-37 (1990), the Supreme Court of Virginia held that the plaintiff's exclusive remedy was under the Workers' Compensation Act because she was injured on the employer's premises during a "'brief deviation from a direct departure for personal shopping.'" The plaintiff was a cake decorator in the employer's bakery department. See id. at 196, 396 S.E.2d at 836. On the day of the accident, the plaintiff completed her work in the bakery and told a co-worker that she was leaving. See id. She removed her uniform jacket, but instead of exiting the building and going to her car, she decided to do some personal shopping. See id. While shopping, she fell next to the store's salad bar and was injured. See id. Plaintiff argued she should be permitted to maintain her tort action against the employer because she was not performing work-related duties at the time of the accident and was, instead, a business invitee. See id. at 197, 396 S.E.2d at 836. The Court rejected the plaintiff's argument and held that the plaintiff's injuries were covered under the Workers' Compensation Act because the accident occurred on the employer's premises and "it is to be anticipated that employees of a supermarket would purchase merchandise . . . after completing assigned work duties." Id. at 198, 396 S.E.2d at 837. The Court reasoned that the plaintiff's injuries arose out of and in the course of her employment because "the plaintiff was injured at a place where she was reasonably expected to be while engaged in an activity reasonably incidental to her employment by the employer." Id.