Fouts v. Anderson

In Fouts v. Anderson, 219 Va. 666, 250 S.E.2d 746 (1979), the Supreme Court of Virginia held that the Workers' Compensation Act did not bar a common law action based on an accident that occurred in the employer's parking lot after the plaintiff initially exited the employer's premises. The plaintiff exited the employer's parking lot after completing his workday, but, while exiting the lot, he remembered he needed to get a used carburetor from a fellow employee. See Fouts, 219 Va. at 668, 250 S.E.2d at 747. He drove down the highway, turned around, and drove back to the employer's parking lot. See id. The defendant's car struck the plaintiff's vehicle while the plaintiff was stopped in the employer's parking lot. See id. The plaintiff argued that his tort action was not barred by the Workers' Compensation Act because he returned to the employer's parking lot on a purely personal mission. See id. The defendant, however, relied on Brown to support his argument that plaintiff's injuries were compensable under the Workers' Compensation Act. See 219 Va. at 670, 250 S.E.2d at 748. The Court rejected the defendant's argument, distinguishing Brown on the facts. See id. The Court reasoned that there was no causal connection between the plaintiff's injuries and his employment because the plaintiff had successfully exited the parking lot at the completion of his workday. See id. He re-entered the lot on a personal mission, and, thus, incurred the risk of injury. See id. Consequently, he was not using the employer's parking lot for a purpose anticipated by the employer. Therefore, the accident did not arise out of or in the course of the plaintiff's employment.