Archive

Tag Archive for: course and scope of employment

Shauna LaBelle v. Mylan Technologies (February 8, 2010)

Categories: Workers' Compensation Hearing DecisionTags: , , , , Author:

Shauna LaBelle v. Mylan Technologies (February 8, 2010)
STATE OF VERMONT
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Shauna LaBelle Opinion No. 05-10WC
v. By: Sal Spinosa, Esq.
Hearing Officer
Mylan Technologies
For: Patricia Moulton Powden
Commissioner
State File No. AA-02370
RULING ON CROSS MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT1
ATTORNEYS:
Beth Robinson, Esq., for Claimant
Kelly Smith, Esq., for Defendant
ISSUE PRESENTED:
Is there a genuine issue of material fact concerning whether Claimant suffered a compensable work-related injury?
FINDINGS OF FACT:
Considering the facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, see, e.g., State v. Delaney, 157 Vt. 247, 252 (1991), I find the following:
1. Claimant worked in Defendant’s packaging department. Her job involved different activities at more than one work station. She walked from station to station in order to perform these job requirements.
2. On January 6, 2009 Claimant was working her usual job when she felt a sudden pain in her right lower side and lower back. No one present witnessed the moment of injury. After a short recuperative period Claimant finished her shift and went home.
3. Claimant saw Defendant’s medical providers for her injury, where she received treatment and periodic work restrictions. Claimant described the physical movements that triggered the onset of her symptoms as an act of turning on one foot to step with the other. Defendant’s video shows Claimant performing such movements, and others, at one of her work stations. The same video shows the obvious onset of Claimant’s symptoms while she is walking, ostensibly from one work station to another. Claimant also told two
1 Although Claimant initially brought this motion Defendant responded in like manner seeking summary judgment in its favor. This will be treated as cross motions for summary judgment.
2
different medical providers on two different dates respectively that her symptoms occurred while walking.
4. On April 24, 2009 Claimant saw Dr. Barnum, an orthopedist. Claimant told Dr. Barnum that she was lifting, turning and stepping when her symptoms came on suddenly. Based on this specific description of the mechanics of Claimant’s injury, Dr. Barnum concluded that her symptoms probably were related to her work activities. Dr. Barnum believed that Claimant had exacerbated a prior injury she suffered in 2006 as a result of a motor vehicle accident.2
5. Claimant also saw Robert Hemond, a physician’s assistant at the Spine Institute of New England. Mr. Hemond noted possible disc abnormalities at L4-5. Mr. Hemond was aware of Claimant’s 2006 auto accident injuries but opined that those injuries were unrelated to Claimant’s current symptoms.
6. According to Paul Oszurek, who works in Defendant’s safety department, Claimant told him that she had been having recurrent hip issues related to her prior car accident. Both the content and date of this conversation are uncertain.
DISCUSSION:
1. In order to prevail on a motion for summary judgment, the moving party must show that there exist no genuine issues of material fact, such that it is entitled to a judgment in its favor as a matter of law. Samplid Enterprises, Inc v. First Vermont Bank, 165 Vt. 22, 25 (1996). In ruling on such a motion, the non-moving party is entitled to the benefit of all reasonable doubts and inferences. State v. Delaney, 157 Vt. 247, 252 (1991); Toys, Inc. v. F.M. Burlington Co., 155 Vt. 44 (1990). Summary judgment is appropriate only when the facts in question are clear, undisputed or unrefuted. State v. Realty of Vermont, 137 Vt. 425 (1979).
2. In support of her position Claimant argues that her account of the injury event is credible. She also relies on Defendant’s video, which she argues demonstrates irrefutably that her injury occurred at work, and Dr. Barnum’s opinion that her injury was work-related.
3. Defendant, on the other hand, asserts that Claimant’s account of how her injury occurred is inconsistent and therefore not credible. It argues that there is a legal difference between an injury that occurs while simultaneously lifting, turning and stepping at a work station, as Dr. Barnum assumed, and one that occurs while merely walking across the floor from one work station to another, as Claimant described at other times and as it alleges its video shows. In Defendant’s view, while the former description may give rise to a compensable claim, the latter one reflects an idiopathic injury which may not be compensable under Vermont law.
2 Claimant fractured her pelvis, hip and ribs in that accident. Her treatment had concluded by late 2006.
3
4. To establish a compensable claim under Vermont’s workers’ compensation law, a claimant must show both that the accident giving rise to his or her injury occurred “in the course of the employment” and that it “arose out of the employment.” Miller v. IBM, 161 Vt. 213, 214 (1993); Carlson v. Experian Information Solutions, Op. No. 23-08WC (June 5, 2008); Boucher v. Peerless Insurance Co. Op. No. 16-08WC (April 16, 2008); 21 V.S.A. §618.
5. An injury occurs in the course of employment “when it occurs within the period of time when the employee was on duty at a place where the employee was reasonably expected to be while fulfilling the duties of [the] employment contract.” Miller, supra at 215, quoting Marsigli Estate v. Granite City Auto Sales, Inc., 124 Vt. 95, 98 (1964).
6. An injury arises out of the employment “if it would not have occurred but for the fact that the conditions and obligations of the employment placed claimant in the position where [claimant] was injured.” Shaw v. Dutton Berry Farm, 160 Vt. 594, 599 (1993), quoting 1 Larson, Workers’ Compensation Law §6.50 (1990) (emphasis in original). This so-called “positional risk” analysis lays responsibility on an employer when an employee’s injury would not have occurred “but for” the employment and the worker’s position at work. Id.
7. There is no dispute in the current claim as to the “in the course of” requirement. Claimant’s injury occurred while she was at Defendant’s work place, performing the job duties she was hired to do at the time she was supposed to be doing them.
8. The dispute here concerns the “arising out of” component, and it is driven by this question: Was Claimant’s injury caused by her work or, alternatively, was it the consequence of a medical condition that was purely personal to her, that is, an idiopathic condition? The answer to that question depends on the credibility of the evidence offered by each party in support of its position.
9. Dr. Barnum’s medical opinion is as reliable as the factual premise upon which it is based. In stating that Claimant’s work contributed to her injury, Dr. Barnum relied on Claimant’s description of her work activity at the very onset of her symptoms, specifically, that she was at that moment lifting, turning and stepping simultaneously at one of her work stations. However, this description of the injury event is countered by a co-worker, other medical reports and Defendant’s video.
10. Mr. Oszurek’s assertion that Claimant had complained about recurring back pain prior to the instant work injury points to a non-work-related cause for her current symptoms. Claimant strongly denies Mr. Oszurek’s claim. She questions both the content of his discussion with her and its timing.
11. When Claimant herself apparently stated to two separate medical providers that she was walking when her symptoms first appeared, rather than lifting, turning and stepping, she created a conflict in the medical reports of her account. These conflicts are not de minimis, as Claimant argues. Taken together, they raise questions of material fact relative to both causation and compensability.
4
12. Defendant’s video of Claimant at work is particularly revealing. Claimant does indeed lift, turn and step in close sequence at one of her work stations. Her sudden onset of pain, however, is not apparent at this work station. Rather, she first displays pain while walking toward a different work station. This is not how Claimant described her injury to Dr. Barnum. Claimant may have undermined the value of Dr. Barnum’s causation opinion when she provided him with an account that may not be entirely accurate. Credible evidence concerning the circumstances that led to Claimant’s injury is essential to Dr. Barnum’s opinion and may bear directly on whether her injury is compensable under Vermont law.
13. Had the evidence been uncontroverted that Claimant was injured while lifting, turning and stepping at her work station, her motion for summary judgment might merit stronger consideration. The fact that it might have occurred while merely walking, however, casts both legal and factual doubt on her claim. While Dr. Barnum did find Claimant’s work to be the cause of her injury, he did so based on a factual account at odds with other evidence in the case. If presented with other facts, Dr. Barnum might be compelled to change his opinion.
14. For the purpose of these motions it is not my function to make findings of fact. Fritzeen v. Trudell Consulting Eng’rs, Inc., 170 Vt. 632 (2000). I do find, however, that genuine issues of material fact remain in this case. Where that is so, summary judgment may not serve as a substitute for a determination on the merits. Id.; Human Rights Commission v. Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks, 2003 VT 104, (2003).
ORDER:
For the foregoing reasons, both Claimant’s and Defendant’s Motions for Summary Judgment are DENIED.
DATED at Montpelier, Vermont this 8th day of February, 2010.
_________________________________
Patricia Moulton Powden
Commissioner
Appeal:
Within 30 days after copies of this opinion have been mailed, either party may appeal questions of fact or mixed questions of law and fact to a superior court or questions of law to the Vermont Supreme Court. 21 V.S.A. §§670, 672.

Jesus Otero v. Woodstock Inn & Resort (September 29, 2011)

Categories: Workers' Compensation Hearing DecisionTags: , , Author:

Jesus Otero v. Woodstock Inn & Resort (September 29, 2011)
STATE OF VERMONT
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Jesus Otero Opinion No. 29-11WC
v. By: Phyllis Phillips, Esq.
Hearing Officer
Woodstock Inn & Resort
For: Anne M. Noonan
Commissioner
State File No. AA-51834
OPINION AND ORDER
Hearing held in Montpelier, Vermont on April 5, 2011
Record closed on May 21, 2011
APPEARANCES:
Joseph Galanes, Esq., for Claimant
John Valente, Esq., for Defendant
ISSUE:
Did Claimant suffer an injury arising out of and in the course of his employment on May 15, 2005?
EXHIBITS:
Joint Exhibit I: Medical records
Claimant’s Exhibit 1: Deposition of Daniel Jackson, March 8, 2011
Claimant’s Exhibit 2: May 2005 time card records
Claimant’s Exhibit 3: Dr. Peraza out-of-work notes, 4/1/08 and 5/13/08
Defendant’s Exhibit A: Notice and Application for Hearing, August 13, 2009
Defendant’s Exhibit B: Certificate of Dependency
Defendant’s Exhibit C: Notice of Intent to Change Health Care Provider,
August 19, 2008
Defendant’s Exhibit D: Letter from Agnes Hughes, August 28, 2009
2
CLAIM:
All workers’ compensation benefits to which Claimant proves his entitlement as causally related to his alleged work injuries
Costs and attorney fees pursuant to 21 V.S.A. §678
FINDINGS OF FACT:
1. At all times relevant to these proceedings, Claimant was an employee and Defendant was his employer as those terms are defined in Vermont’s Workers’ Compensation Act.
2. Judicial notice is taken of all relevant forms contained in the Departments’ file relating to this claim.
3. Claimant is a 55 year old immigrant from Lima, Peru. He came to the United States in August 2001 to be closer to his mother and two sisters, who had immigrated here sometime earlier.
4. Within a month after his arrival in Vermont Claimant began working as a dishwasher at Defendant’s resort hotel. This employment is the only position Claimant has held since immigrating to the U.S.
5. Claimant received a university education plus postgraduate work in economics while in Peru. He worked as an accountant.
6. Claimant studied English both in high school and at the university, but never to the point of becoming conversant. His language limitations were evident at the formal hearing. He required an interpreter and without her assistance could comprehend and respond only to simple questions posed to him in English. Beyond that, perhaps the most credible evidence of Claimant’s limited English proficiency was his assertion that if he could speak English, he would be studying at a university here in the United States, not working as a dishwasher. I find this testimony extremely persuasive.
7. On Sunday, May 15, 2005 Claimant reported to work for Defendant at approximately 4:00 PM. Claimant specifically recalled the day, as the night before he had worked at a wedding on the premises until 2:00 AM. Defendant’s time card records substantiate Claimant’s recollection, and I find it credible.
8. At some point during his shift Claimant was washing sheet pans. Unbeknownst to him, a co-employee had washed the kitchen floor and it was slippery. As Claimant carried one of the sheet pans across the room, he slipped on the wet, soapy floor and fell hard to the ground.
3
9. Claimant recalled hitting the left side of his body on some large pots as he fell, and hitting the floor with such force that he lost consciousness for a few moments. He testified that he broke both a tooth and his eyeglasses in the fall. I find this testimony to be credible.
10. Claimant credibly testified that after he fell, two of his co-workers, Jarrod and Matt, assisted him first to his feet and then to a chair. As documented by Defendant’s time card records, Claimant left work thereafter without completing his shift. Claimant testified that this was on account of the pain he was suffering after his fall. I find this testimony to be credible.
11. On the following day, Claimant’s sister, Rosie O’Connell, visited Claimant at his home, having heard from their mother that he was not well. Ms. O’Connell is conversant in both English and Spanish. She testified that while visiting with Claimant she observed that he was walking slowly, that his tooth was missing and that he was not wearing his glasses. Ms. O’Connell further testified that Claimant told her that he had injured himself after falling in the kitchen at work the evening before. I find this testimony to be credible in all respects.
12. At the time of Claimant’s injury Ms. O’Connell also worked for Defendant. She testified that after visiting with Claimant, she proceeded to the Inn. Initially she sought out Ann Tucker, Defendant’s personnel director, to speak to her about Claimant’s fall, but as Ms. Tucker was not in her office, she went to see Claimant’s supervisor, Executive Chef Jackson, instead. Ms. O’Connell testified that Chef Jackson told her that he was aware of the accident and that he would take care of filing the appropriate forms with Ms. Tucker immediately. I find this testimony to be credible.
13. For his part, Chef Jackson clearly recalled in his deposition testimony that Ms. O’Connell had come to see him shortly after Claimant’s fall and had asked him to complete an accident report. He testified that he was aware of the protocol for reporting work-related injuries, and that it was his responsibility as head of the culinary department to complete and forward an injury report to Ms. Tucker whenever one of his employees suffered a work-related injury. This was true even if he was not on duty at the time, and the injury was first reported to a sous chef or other supervisor. Chef Jackson testified that presumably this was the protocol he followed in Claimant’s case, but that with the passage of time he could no longer be one hundred percent certain that he actually did file a written report with Ms. Tucker. I find this testimony to be credible.
14. As to the timing of Claimant’s fall and Ms. O’Connell’s visit, Chef Jackson was fairly certain that it occurred in 2005, as he terminated his employment with Defendant in early 2006. I find this testimony to be credible.
4
15. On the morning after his fall, Claimant called his primary care provider, Dr. Smith, and was given an appointment for Thursday, May 19, 2005. Claimant testified that at that appointment he told Dr. Smith that he had injured his back, neck and shoulder in a fall at work four days earlier. Dr. Smith’s office note does not reflect this history at all, however. To the contrary, it refers to a two-week history of intermittent back pain, flared by lifting and bending at work.
16. I find that Claimant likely did attempt to communicate the circumstances of his injury to Dr. Smith, but that Dr. Smith misunderstood. Claimant credibly testified that he and Dr. Smith often had difficulty communicating, a fact that Dr. Smith substantiated in subsequent office notes, which specifically reference a significant language barrier between them. I thus find that the discrepancy between Claimant’s version of the events leading up to his May 19th appointment and Dr. Smith’s reported history does not fatally undermine his credibility.
17. Claimant next followed up with Dr. Smith in June 2005. Dr. Smith prescribed physical therapy for Claimant’s continuing complaints, but Claimant lacked the funds to pursue this treatment. In the meantime, aside from a brief period of time out of work immediately after his fall, Claimant continued to work.
18. In July 2008 Dr. Smith referred Claimant to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) for further evaluation of what had become chronic left shoulder pain. Unlike his visits with Dr. Smith, Claimant’s DHMC providers were assisted by professional interpreters. Consequently, for the first time the medical record clearly reflected Claimant’s report that his fall at work was the incident that initially gave rise to his symptoms.
19. Through the DHMC staff and their interpreters, Claimant learned that Defendant had never filed a workers’ compensation claim on his behalf after his fall at work. As he now had been referred for an MRI, DHMC staff sought authorization from Defendant to proceed. Ms. Tucker credibly testified that the phone call she received to that effect, in late July 2008, was when she first learned of Claimant’s fall.
20. Upon learning that Claimant was seeking treatment for an alleged work-related injury, Ms. Tucker next undertook to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident. She credibly testified that Claimant told her that he thought the fall had occurred in February 2006. Indeed, Claimant cited February 2006 as the date of injury in the workers’ compensation forms that he himself completed once his claim was finally filed. In light of what I consider to be highly credible corroborative evidence from Ms. O’Connell and Chef Jackson, however, I find that Claimant’s memory for dates at this point likely had faded, and that the fall giving rise to his injuries most likely occurred in May 2005, not February 2006.
5
21. Ms. Tucker was emphatic in her assertion that had Claimant’s supervisor been notified of Claimant’s fall in May 2005, he would have reported it to her promptly in accordance with Defendant’s protocol. However, when presented with evidence that on two occasions in 2008 Claimant had provided his supervisor with medical notes documenting work-related eczema in his hands, Ms. Tucker acknowledged that the supervisor had not passed that information along to her. I find from this that despite Ms. Tucker’s best efforts and intentions, Defendants’ supervisors did not always report their employees’ work-related injury claims to her as they had been instructed to.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW:
1. In workers’ compensation cases, the claimant has the burden of establishing all facts essential to the rights asserted. King v. Snide, 144 Vt. 395, 399 (1984). He or she must establish by sufficient credible evidence the character and extent of the injury as well as the causal connection between the injury and the employment. Egbert v. The Book Press, 144 Vt. 367 (1984). There must be created in the mind of the trier of fact something more than a possibility, suspicion or surmise that the incidents complained of were the cause of the injury and the resulting disability, and the inference from the facts proved must be the more probable hypothesis. Burton v. Holden Lumber Co., 112 Vt. 17 (1941); Morse v. John E. Russell Corp., Opinion No. 40-92WC (May 7, 1993).
2. This case is in essence a dispute about credibility. Defendant asserts that Claimant’s alleged injury was both unwitnessed and late reported. It argues that Claimant has not produced sufficient credible evidence to sustain his burden of proving that it in fact occurred as and when he says it did.
3. It is true that a claimant may have difficulty sustaining his burden of proof when he delays filing a workers’ compensation claim for a significant period of time after an alleged injury, particularly where the injury is unwitnessed. In such instances, the trier of fact must evaluate the factual evidence carefully so as to explore any inconsistencies, investigate possible intervening causes and evaluate “hidden or not-so-hidden motivations.” Darrah v. Censor Security, Inc., Opinion No. 16-09WC (June 3, 2009); Jurden v. Northern Power Systems, Inc., Opinion No. 39-08WC (October 6, 2008); Russell v. Omega Electric, Opinion No. 42-03WC (November 10, 2003), citing Fanger v. Village Inn, Opinion No. 5-95WC (April 20, 1995).
4. I acknowledge here that Claimant’s injury may have been unwitnessed at the exact moment that it happened. Claimant credibly testified, however, as to the two co-workers who assisted him immediately thereafter, and Ms. O’Connell credibly testified that she observed his injuries, which were obvious, the next day. Defendant offered no evidence to rebut either of these accounts. Without such rebuttal testimony, I am satisfied that Claimant in fact fell as he said he did in Defendant’s kitchen.
6
5. Defendant’s argument notwithstanding, furthermore, I disagree that Claimant’s injury was late reported. Again, I am satisfied by the testimony provided by both Ms. O’Connell and Chef Jackson that in fact it was reported, barely 24 hours after it occurred. The fact that the report did not subsequently find its way to Ms. Tucker in a timely manner may be cause for concern among Defendant’s supervisory staff, but it provides no basis at all for penalizing Claimant.
6. Defendant points as well to the lack of contemporaneous medical records documenting the nature and timing of Claimant’s fall as support for its attack on his credibility. To my mind, however, the language barrier between Claimant and his primary care provider adequately accounts for this omission, and therefore I read nothing suspicious into it. Similarly, I am convinced that the discrepancy between the date of injury Claimant first reported and the one he recalled three years later likely represents his faulty memory rather than any devious motive or hidden agenda.
7. I conclude that Claimant has sustained his burden of proving that he suffered a compensable work-related injury when he slipped and fell in Defendant’s kitchen on May 15, 2005. Claimant is entitled to whatever workers’ compensation benefits he establishes to be causally related to that incident.
8. As Claimant has prevailed on his claim for benefits, he is entitled to an award of costs and attorney fees. In accordance with 21 V.S.A. §678(e), Claimant shall have 30 days from the date of this opinion within which to submit his itemized claim.
7
ORDER:
Based on the foregoing findings of fact and conclusions of law, Defendant is hereby ORDERED to pay:
1. All workers’ compensation benefits to which Claimant proves his entitlement as causally related to his May 15, 2005 fall at work; and
2. Costs and attorney fees in amounts to be determined in accordance with 21 V.S.A. §678.
DATED at Montpelier, Vermont this 29th day of September 2011.
_______________________
Anne M. Noonan
Commissioner
Appeal:
Within 30 days after copies of this opinion have been mailed, either party may appeal questions of fact or mixed questions of law and fact to a superior court or questions of law to the Vermont Supreme Court. 21 V.S.A. §§ 670, 672.

Trevor Foley v. Smugglers’ Notch Management (June 3, 2013)

Categories: Workers' Compensation Hearing DecisionTags: , , , Author:

Trevor Foley v. Smugglers’ Notch Management (June 3, 2013)
STATE OF VERMONT
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Trevor Foley Opinion No. 16-13WC
v. By: Jane Woodruff, Esq.
Hearing Officer
Smugglers’ Notch Management For: Anne M. Noonan
Commissioner
State File No. EE-51048
OPINION AND ORDER
Hearing held in Montpelier, Vermont on March 22, 2013
Record closed on April 15, 2013
APPEARANCES:
Michael Green, Esq., for Claimant
John Valente, Esq., for Defendant
ISSUES PRESENTED:
Did Claimant’s leg injuries arise out of and in the course of his employment for
Defendant?
EXHIBITS:
Joint Exhibit I: Medical records
Defendant’s Exhibit A: Claimant’s statement, July 24, 2012
Defendant’s Exhibit B: Claimant’s statement, August 2, 2012
Defendant’s Exhibit C: Brewer statement, August 9, 2012
Defendant’s Exhibit D: Watson affidavit, October 12, 2012
Defendant’s Exhibit E: Byrne statement, July 23, 2012
Defendant’s Exhibit F: Moreau statement, July 25, 2012
Defendant’s Exhibit G: District Court file, State v. Bates
Defendant’s Exhibit H: Claimant’s timesheet
Defendant’s Exhibit I: Golf cart safety form
Defendant’s Exhibit J: Golf cart handbook
Defendant’s Exhibit K: Claimant’s punch card
Defendant’s Exhibit L: Moore report, July 26, 2012
Defendant’s Exhibit M: Smith report, July 23, 2012
Defendant’s Exhibit N: Map of Jeffersonville, Vermont roads
Defendant’s Exhibit O: Map of Smugglers’ Notch Resort and roads
2
Defendant’s Exhibit P: Map of Smugglers’ Notch
CLAIM:
Temporary total disability benefits pursuant to 21 V.S.A. §642
Medical benefits pursuant to 21 V.S.A. §640
Interest, costs and attorney fees pursuant to 21 V.S.A. §678
FINDINGS OF FACT:
1. At all times relevant to these proceedings, Claimant was an employee and Defendant was
his employer as those terms are defined in Vermont’s Workers’ Compensation Act.
2. Judicial notice is taken of all relevant forms contained in the Department’s file relating to
this claim.
3. Claimant began working for Defendant in December 2011 as a ski lift operator. After the
winter season concluded, in June 2012 he was rehired as a common areas worker in the
housekeeping department. He worked the 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. shift.
Claimant’s General Work Duties and Daily Routine
4. Claimant had a regular routine to his daily duties. Upon arriving at work, he swiped his
time card and retrieved his time sheet, which included a list of his assigned tasks. Then
he signed out a set of keys to the supply closets and obtained a two-way radio. Next he
picked up his golf cart key and checked the cart’s oil and gas. Thereafter, he started his
listed jobs. When he was finished his shift, he returned to the operations center, parked
his golf cart so it would be available for the next shift, returned his keys and radio and
signed off duty.
5. Claimant was allowed to use a golf cart during his shift because he had undergone the
training Defendant required in order to qualify for the privilege. As part of his training,
Claimant acknowledged Defendant’s policy that those with golf cart privileges were
responsible for the safe operation of the vehicle to prevent injuries to employees, guests
or equipment. All of the golf carts are equipped with governors, which prevent them
from being driven at speeds in excess of 14 or 15 miles per hour.
The Events of July 22, 2012
6. On July 22, 2012 Claimant arrived at work to see a special assignment added in
handwriting at the top of his time sheet. After completing the special assignment he went
about his day, with little variation from his regular routine.
7. Upon finishing his last task of the day, which was to clean the Mountainside pool,
Claimant returned to the operations center. As he was filling out his paperwork and
preparing to sign off from his shift, a fellow employee, Brandon Bates, approached him
and grabbed his golf cart keys. Claimant testified that he thought Mr. Bates was just
fooling around, so he continued to fill out his paperwork. I find this testimony credible.
3
8. When Mr. Bates did not return immediately, Claimant became concerned and went
outside to find him. He saw Mr. Bates driving the golf cart across the parking lot, and
reacted by jumping aboard. Claimant credibly testified that he was motivated to do so
because (1) he did not think Mr. Bates had golf cart privileges; (2) it was his
responsibility to secure the golf cart at the end of his shift; and (3) he did not want Mr.
Bates either to damage the golf cart or to injure himself.
9. In fact, Mr. Bates was intoxicated. Claimant made different statements as to exactly
when he realized that this was the case – either at the time Mr. Bates first took the golf
cart keys from him or not until later, when he jumped on the cart as Mr. Bates drove past.
I find from the more credible statements, which were made both to Defendant’s insurance
adjuster and to a law enforcement officer shortly after the incident occurred, that
Claimant first suspected Mr. Bates was intoxicated at the time he grabbed the keys. To
the extent that Claimant’s formal hearing testimony was inconsistent with these earlier
statements, I find that the differences were immaterial and did not affect his credibility.
10. After jumping onto the cart, Claimant pleaded with Mr. Bates to return immediately to
the operations center. Mr. Bates replied that he was going to drive himself home on the
cart, because he did not want to wait for a ride. Claimant responded that his mother
would come and pick them both up, but Mr. Bates still refused to stop. Instead, with
Claimant still in the cart he continued across Defendant’s grounds to Edwards Road, and
then turned onto Route 101. As the pair traveled up Route 101, Mr. Bates suddenly
jerked the steering wheel to the left. The golf cart overturned, and Claimant suffered
severe injuries to his right leg. He has undergone extensive medical treatment as a result.
Defendant’s Investigation of the July 22, 2012 Incident
11. Defendant interviewed several people in the days immediately following the July 22,
2012 incident. As a result of its investigation, it terminated both Claimant’s and Mr.
Bates’ employment for taking the golf cart off the premises.
12. Two of the people whom Defendant interviewed also provided testimony at the formal
hearing. Jan Moreau is Defendant’s transportation supervisor. She was working on the
evening of July 22, 2012 and finished her shift at 10 p.m. Ms. Moreau testified that at
approximately 10:30 p.m. she observed two males get into a golf cart, but she admitted
she did not see them well. It appeared to her that the men were trying to put gas in the
golf cart. Although credible, I find that Ms. Moreau’s testimony is of limited value, as
she could not state with certainty that the men she observed were in fact Claimant and
Mr. Bates.
13. Billy Burns is currently Defendant’s housekeeping manager. At the time of the golf cart
incident he managed the support crew, and as such he was Mr. Bates’ direct supervisor.
Mr. Burns did not witness the July 22, 2012 incident, but did interview Mr. Bates
subsequently. Mr. Burns credibly testified that Mr. Bates took sole responsibility for
taking the golf cart while he was intoxicated, and expressed remorse for his actions.
4
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW:
1. To establish a compensable claim under Vermont’s workers’ compensation law, a
claimant must show both that the accident giving rise to his or her injury occurred “in the
course of the employment” and that it “arose out of the employment.” Miller v. IBM, 161
Vt. 213, 214 (1993); 21 V.S.A. §618.
2. An injury occurs in the course of employment “when it occurs within the period of time
when the employee was on duty at a place where the employee was reasonably expected
to be while fulfilling the duties of [the] employment contract.” Miller, supra at 215,
quoting Marsigli Estate v. Granite City Auto Sales, Inc., 124 Vt. 95, 98 (1964).
3. An injury arises out of the employment “if it would not have occurred but for the fact that
the conditions and obligations of the employment placed claimant in the position where
[claimant] was injured.” Shaw v. Dutton Berry Farm, 160 Vt. 594, 599 (1993), quoting 1
Larson, Workers’ Compensation Law §6.50 (1990) (emphasis in original). This so-called
“positional risk” analysis lays responsibility on an employer when an employee’s injury
would not have occurred “but for” the employment and the worker’s position at work.
Id.
4. Putting these two prongs of the compensability test together, the “in the course of”
requirement establishes a time and place connection between the injury and the
employment, while the “arising out of” requirement establishes a causal connection
between the injury and the employment. See Walbridge v. Hunger Mountain Co-op,
Opinion No. 12-10WC (March 24, 2010), citing Spinks v. Ecowater Systems, WC 04-217
(Minn. Work.Comp.Ct.App., January 21, 2005). Both connections are necessary for a
claim to be compensable. Carlson v. Experian Information Solutions, Opinion No. 23-
08WC (June 5, 2008).
The “In the Course Of” Prong
5. Defendant argues that because Claimant was under no work-related duty to accompany
Mr. Bates on the latter’s ill-fated joyride, his resulting injuries cannot be said to have
arisen in the course of his employment. Defendant further argues that Claimant was
engaged in horseplay at the time of his injury, and therefore substantially deviated from
his employment duties. For both of these reasons, Defendant asserts that Claimant has
failed to satisfy the first half of the compensability test.
6. A key component of what constitutes an employee’s work-related “duty” is whether the
activity benefits the employer. If it does, then it fits within the parameters of the term,
even if the employer did not specifically direct the employee to undertake the activity.
Kenney v. Rockingham School District, 123 Vt. 344 (1963).
5
7. In this case, Defendant’s policy as regards employees’ use of golf carts included
responsibility for safeguarding against injuries to other employees, guests and equipment.
I have already found that Claimant’s motivation for jumping onto the golf cart Mr. Bates
had appropriated was in furtherance of those exact responsibilities. I conclude that his
actions clearly benefited Defendant.
8. As for Defendant’s contention that Claimant’s actions amounted to horseplay, again, the
facts dictate otherwise. Whatever horseplay occurred on July 22, 2012 was instigated
and continued by Mr. Bates, not by Claimant. According to the evidence I have found
most credible, Claimant neither condoned, encouraged nor participated in it. His actions
were directed at preventing mischief, not making it. To disqualify him from workers’
compensation coverage simply by virtue of another employee’s horseplay, not his own,
would be unfair. Clodgo v. Rentavision, 166 Vt. 548, 550 (1997) (citations omitted).
9. I conclude that the injuries Claimant suffered on July 22, 2012 occurred within the period
of time when he was on duty at a place where he was reasonably expected to be while
fulfilling the duties of his employment contract. Miller, supra. Therefore, they occurred
in the course of his employment.
The “Arising Out Of” Prong
10. As the Supreme Court noted in Shaw, supra at 598, ordinarily if an injury occurs in the
course of employment, it also arises out of it, “unless the circumstances are so attenuated
from the conditions of employment that the cause of the injury cannot reasonably be
related to the employment.” That is not the case here.
11. What is required to satisfy the “arising out of” test is a causal connection between an
employee’s injury and his or her work – not necessarily in the sense of proximate or
direct cause, but rather as an expression of origin, source or contribution. Snyder v.
General Paper Corp., 152 N.W.2d 743, 745 (Minn. 1967); see, Shaw v. Dutton Berry
Farm, 160 Vt. 594, 597-98 (1993) (overruling Rothfarb v. Camp Awanee, Inc., 116 Vt.
172 (1950), and characterizing tort-type proximate causation in the workers’
compensation context as narrow, unduly restrictive and contrary to the remedial purpose
of the statute).
12. Vermont has long adhered to the “positional risk” doctrine in interpreting and applying
the “arising out of” component of compensability. Miller, supra at 214, citing Shaw,
supra at 599. Under Vermont law, an injury arises out of the employment “if it would
not have occurred but for the fact that the conditions and obligations of the employment
placed claimant in the position where [claimant] was injured.” Id., quoting 1 A. Larson,
Workmen’s Compensation Law §6.50 (1990) (emphasis in original). Phrased
alternatively, the positional risk doctrine asks simply whether an injury would or would
not have occurred but for the claimant’s employment and his or her position at work.
Shaw, supra.
6
13. In this case, the conditions and obligations of Claimant’s employment included direct
responsibility for the golf cart with which he had been entrusted. But for that
responsibility, he would have had no reason to jump onto the cart after Mr. Bates
commandeered it. Given the potential risk of immediate harm – to his co-employee, to
passersby and to the golf cart itself – it cannot be said that the circumstances under which
he did so were so attenuated from his employment as to fail the “arising out of” test.
Thus I conclude that his resulting injuries would not have occurred but for his position at
work.
Summary
14. I conclude that Claimant has established both that his injury occurred “in the course of”
his employment and that it “arose out of” his employment. Thus, his July 22, 2012
injuries are compensable.
15. As Claimant has prevailed on his claim for benefits, he is entitled to an award of costs
and attorney fees. He has submitted a request for costs totaling $203.08, and attorney and
paralegal fees totaling $4,589.00.1 Defendant did not object to these requests. I conclude
that both the costs and fees are reasonable and they are thereby awarded.
1 Claimant’s request for attorney fees has been modified to reflect the prevailing rate under Workers’ Compensation
Rule 10.1210, $145.00 per hour.
7
ORDER:
Based on the foregoing findings of fact and conclusions of law, Defendant is hereby ORDERED
to pay:
1. Temporary total disability benefits from July 22, 2012 until Claimant either
returned to work or reached an end medical result, whichever was earlier,
pursuant to 21 V.S.A. §642, with interest as calculated pursuant to 21 V.S.A.
§664;
2. Medical benefits covering all reasonable medical services and supplies causally
related to treatment of Claimant’s injuries in accordance with 21 V.S.A. §640;
and
3. Costs in the amount of $203.08 and attorney and paralegal fees in the amount of
$4,589.00 in accordance with 21 V.S.A. §678.
DATED at Montpelier, Vermont this 3rd day of June 2013.
_______________________
Anne M. Noonan
Commissioner
Appeal:
Within 30 days after copies of this opinion have been mailed, either party may appeal questions
of fact or mixed questions of law and fact to a superior court or questions of law to the Vermont
Supreme Court. 21 V.S.A. §§ 670, 672.

Jeri Walbridge v. Hunger Mountain Co-op (March 24, 2010)

Categories: Workers' Compensation Hearing DecisionTags: , , , Author:

Jeri Walbridge v. Hunger Mountain Co-op (March 24, 2010)
STATE OF VERMONT
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Jeri Walbridge Opinion No. 12-10WC
v. By: Phyllis Phillips, Esq.
Sal Spinosa, Esq.
Hunger Mountain Co-op Hearing Officers
For: Patricia Moulton Powden
Commissioner
State File No. Z-01496
OPINION AND ORDER
Hearing held in Montpelier on December 16, 2009
Record closed on January 19, 2010
APPEARANCES:
Patrick Biggam, Esq, for Claimant
James O’Sullivan, Esq., for Defendant
ISSUE PRESENTED:
Did Claimant’s April 13, 2008 injury arise out of and in the course of her employment for Defendant?
EXHIBITS:
Joint Exhibit I: Payroll adjustment form, April 13, 2008
CLAIM:
Workers’ compensation benefits causally related to Claimant’s April 13, 2008 right ankle injury
FINDINGS OF FACT:
1. At all times relevant to these proceedings, Claimant was an employee and Defendant was her employer as those terms are defined in Vermont’s Workers’ Compensation Act.
2. Judicial notice is taken of all relevant forms contained in the Department’s file relating to this claim.
2
3. Claimant began working at Defendant’s grocery store in August 2004, first as a head cashier and later as a grocery stocker. At the time of her injury her work hours were Monday through Friday, 6:00 AM to 2:00 PM.
4. On Friday April 11, 2008 Claimant was sick and unable to work. She called and informed Defendant that she would not be coming in.
5. Defendant uses a payroll adjustment, or “PTO form” to document an employee’s paid time off for sick, personal or vacation leave. Before it can be processed, typically the form must be signed by the employee and initialed by his or her manager. On occasion, an employee can authorize a manager to complete the form on his or her behalf. In these instances the manager must call the employee and obtain the necessary verbal authorization to submit the form without the employee’s signature.
6. Because Friday, April 11th was close to the end of a payroll cycle, both Claimant and her supervisor, Leo Ormiston, recognized that a PTO form would need to be submitted by early the next week in order for Claimant to be paid for the day in her next paycheck. Claimant testified that she understood the deadline for submitting a completed PTO form to be the following Monday, April 14th. In fact, Defendant’s payroll assistant, Ms. Edson, testified that the deadline for submitting PTO forms was not until noon on Tuesday, April 15th. Mr. Ormiston testified to the same effect, and noted that it was common knowledge among employees that the deadline for submitting PTO forms was on the Tuesday of a pay week, not the Monday.
7. Mr. Ormiston testified that whenever an employee is out sick towards the end of a pay period, he typically calls to inquire whether they would like him to complete a PTO form on their behalf. To that end, at around noon on Friday, April 11th Mr. Ormiston left a voice mail message on Claimant’s phone, asking her to give him a call so that he could complete a PTO form for her. Both Claimant and Mr. Ormiston acknowledged that he had made similar calls to her in the past.
8. Claimant did not hear Mr. Ormiston’s voice mail message until mid-afternoon on Saturday, April 12th. By that time, she presumed Mr. Ormiston would have left for the day.
9. On Sunday, April 13th Claimant traveled from her home in Graniteville to Montpelier to visit her niece. On her way home, she decided to stop at Defendant’s store, both to pick up a few grocery items and to “fix that PTO form for [Mr. Ormiston].” Claimant acknowledged that neither Mr. Ormiston nor anyone else had asked her to come in on Sunday to complete the form, but given that she already was in Montpelier she thought that it was an opportune time for her to do so.
10. Upon her arrival at the store, Claimant chatted briefly with a co-worker, then spied Mr. Ormiston and told him she was going to take care of the PTO form. She proceeded to his office, completed the PTO form and left it on his desk. After doing so, Claimant again spoke briefly to Mr. Ormiston, and then focused her attention on purchasing the four grocery items she needed. As she exited the store and walked through the parking lot to her car, she stepped on a rock, rolled her right ankle and fell to the ground. Other
3
customers assisted her to her feet and helped her to her car. By the time Claimant got home, her right ankle was swollen and painful.
11. Claimant worked her scheduled shift on Monday, April 14th. Mid-morning she inquired of Ms. Edson whether her PTO form had been submitted, as she was concerned that her paycheck for the week be appropriately calculated. Ms. Edson replied that she did not yet have the form, but reassured Claimant that she would get it in time. In fact, as Mr. Ormiston typically did not work on Mondays, he did not approve and submit the form until Tuesday morning, April 15th. As noted above, however, this was still timely enough to allow Ms. Edson to process it for the pending pay period.
12. Claimant worked her scheduled hours for the remainder of the week, but her ankle became increasingly painful. By Friday, April 18th she could no longer stand on it and had to leave work early in order to seek treatment.
13. Claimant was disabled from working for approximately nine weeks as a result of her ankle injury. She also incurred unspecified medical expenses. Defendant issued a timely denial of her claim for workers’ compensation benefits on the grounds that her injury did not arise out of or in the course of her employment.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW:
1. To establish a compensable claim under Vermont’s workers’ compensation law, a claimant must show both that the accident giving rise to his or her injury occurred “in the course of the employment” and that it “arose out of the employment.” Miller v. IBM, 161 Vt. 213, 214 (1993); 21 V.S.A. §618.
2. An injury occurs in the course of employment “when it occurs within the period of time when the employee was on duty at a place where the employee was reasonably expected to be while fulfilling the duties of [the] employment contract.” Miller, supra at 215, quoting Marsigli Estate v. Granite City Auto Sales, Inc., 124 Vt. 95, 98 (1964).
3. An injury arises out of the employment “if it would not have occurred but for the fact that the conditions and obligations of the employment placed claimant in the position where [claimant] was injured.” Shaw v. Dutton Berry Farm, 160 Vt. 594, 599 (1993), quoting 1 Larson, Workers’ Compensation Law §6.50 (1990) (emphasis in original). This so-called “positional risk” analysis lays responsibility on an employer when an employee’s injury would not have occurred “but for” the employment and the worker’s position at work. Id.
4. Putting these two prongs of the compensability test together, the “in the course of” requirement establishes a time and place connection between the injury and the employment, while the “arising out of” requirement establishes a causal connection between the injury and the employment. See Spinks v. Ecowater Systems, WC 04-217 (Minn. Work.Comp.Ct.App., January 21, 2005). Both connections are necessary for a claim to be compensable. Carlson v. Experian Information Solutions, Opinion No. 23-08WC (June 5, 2008).
4
Claimant’s Employment “Duties”
5. Defendant asserts first that Claimant’s injury did not occur “in the course of” her employment because she was under no work-related duty to sign and submit the PTO form on Sunday, April 13th. Claimant could have authorized Mr. Ormiston to complete the form on her behalf. Alternatively, she could have waited until Monday, or even Tuesday, to complete the form and still it would have been submitted in time to be included in that week’s payroll. With those alternatives in mind, Defendant argues that by presenting herself at the store on Sunday in order to sign the PTO form Claimant was not in any way “fulfilling the duties of her employment contract.” Marsigli Estate, supra.
6. The concept of “duty” cannot be so strictly construed, however. Miller, supra at 215. A broader view of what is encompassed by an injured worker’s employment best furthers the remedial purpose of the workers’ compensation act. Id. at 216, citing Shaw, supra.
7. A key component of what constitutes an employee’s work-related “duty” is whether the activity benefits the employer. If it does, then it fits within the parameters of the term, even if the employer did not specifically direct the employee to undertake the activity. Kenney v. Rockingham School District, 123 Vt. 344 (1963).
8. In Kenney, the claimant, a home economics teacher, enrolled as a student in an evening sewing class taught at her school. Her motivation for doing so was both to improve her teaching ability and to become better acquainted with the mothers of some of her students, who also had enrolled in the class. While exiting the building after class one night, she fell on some icy steps and injured herself. The court held that the claimant had been engaged in an activity that, though voluntary, had been undertaken in good faith in order to advance her employer’s interest. As such, it fit within the scope of her work-related “duties.” Kenney, supra at 347, citing Rothfarb v. Camp Awanee, Inc., 116 Vt. 172, 178 (1950) (overruled on other grounds, Shaw, supra).
9. Another aspect of an employee’s work-related “duty” focuses on the essential elements of the employment contract. The ability to tender and receive the agreed upon compensation is an essential component of the relationship between employer and employee. When an employee is injured while engaged in the process of collecting his or her paycheck, therefore, such injuries are deemed compensable. See, e.g., Dunlap v. Clinton Valley Center, 425 N.W.2d 553 (Mich.App. 1988); Oliver v. Faulkner Wood Co., 531 So.2d 675, 677 (Ala.Civ.App. 1988) (citing 1A A. Larson, The Law of Workmen’s Compensation §26.30). This is true even if the paycheck at issue is the final one, tendered and received some days after the injured worker’s employment terminated. 2 Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law §26.03[1].
5
10. Here, Claimant’s work-related duties included assisting Defendant in ensuring that the compensation due her was appropriately documented, accurately calculated and paid on time. Claimant was fulfilling that aspect of her employment contract when she appeared at the store on Sunday, April 13th to sign the PTO form. True, Claimant might have chosen another time to complete the form, for example when she came in for her scheduled shift on Monday, or even another method, such as by authorizing Mr. Ormiston to sign it for her. However, neither of these considerations negates the fact that by doing what she did when and where she did it she was fulfilling a work-related duty, one that she undertook in good faith to benefit both her and her employer mutually. Kenney, supra at 348; (1963); Livering v. Richardson’s Restaurant, 374 Md. 566 (2003) (finding compensable an on-premises injury that occurred while employee was checking her work schedule on her day off).
11. The facts in Livering are instructive. The claimant in that case, a restaurant employee, visited the restaurant while in the course of running personal errands on her day off so that she could check her work schedule. After doing so, she socialized briefly with her co-employees, then slipped and fell as she left the premises to continue her other errands. The court found her injury to be compensable. Arriving to work on time, the court stated, was a necessary component of the claimant’s work duties, and therefore checking the work schedule, which the employer often changed unexpectedly, benefitted both parties mutually.
12. In reaching its conclusion the Livering court remarked that the fact situation it was considering created an even stronger work connection than the one found in cases involving terminated employees injured while collecting their final paychecks. See supra, Conclusion of Law No. 9. Those cases involved an employer-employee relationship that was about to end, whereas the Livering case involved one that was ongoing.
13. Here too, Claimant’s activities arose in the context of an ongoing employment relationship, and therefore present a convincing case for consideration as a component of her work-related “duties.” Given the expanded nature of the concept of how an employee “fulfills the duties of the employment contract,” Miller, supra, I conclude that Claimant was so engaged at the time of her injury.
The “Dual Purpose” Doctrine
14. Defendant also argues that Claimant’s injury did not occur “in the course of” her employment because the primary reason for her trip to the store on Sunday, April 13th was to pick up some groceries, and only incidentally to complete the PTO form. Analyzing this argument requires consideration of the “dual purpose” doctrine.
6
15. The dual purpose doctrine recognizes that at times an employee may be injured while engaged in activities that serve both personal and business interests. For such an injury to be compensable, the business-related purpose need not be the sole motivation, but it must at least be a concurrent one. Brailsford v. Time Capsules, Opinion No. 12-00WC (May 17, 2000), citing Marks Dependents v. Gray, 251 N.Y. 90 (1920). Thus, to establish liability, there must be sufficient evidence from which to infer that even if Claimant had abandoned her intention to grocery shop she still would have made the trip to Defendant’s store so that she could complete the PTO form. See 1 Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law §16.02 and cases cited therein.
16. Here, I accept as credible Claimant’s testimony that she decided to stop at Defendant’s store primarily to complete the PTO form, and only tangentially to grocery shop. This testimony is buttressed by the fact that Claimant made a point of checking with Defendant’s payroll assistant early Monday morning to see if Mr. Ormiston had submitted the form. It shows that she ascribed special importance to ensuring that the form was appropriately completed and submitted on time. I infer from this evidence that Claimant most likely would have traveled to the store on Sunday even if she had had no need for the grocery items she purchased while she was there.
17. I conclude, therefore, that Claimant was acting “in the course of” her employment for Defendant at the time of her injury. Traveling to the store on Sunday to complete the PTO form was an activity that she undertook primarily to advance her employer’s interests. Thus it fell within the context of her employment duties, even though the trip may have served her personal interests as well.
“On Premises” Injury
18. As a final argument, Defendant asserts that Claimant’s injury is not compensable because it occurred after she had left Defendant’s store and was walking to her car in the parking lot. The Vermont Supreme Court specifically addressed this issue in Miller, holding that an injury that occurs on the employer’s premises while the employee is going to or coming from work is compensable. Id. at 216. Having determined that completing the PTO form constituted a work activity, Defendant’s liability for any injuries related thereto continued for so long as Claimant was on its premises. Defendant’s argument to the contrary is completely unavailing.
The “Arising Out of” Component
19. Having met the “in the course of” component of compensability, I conclude that Claimant has met the “arising out of” component as well. As the Supreme Court noted in Shaw, supra at 598, ordinarily if an injury occurs in the course of employment, it also arises out of it, “unless the circumstances are so attenuated from the conditions of employment that the cause of the injury cannot reasonably be related to the employment.”
7
20. The circumstances are not so attenuated here. As discussed above, see Conclusion of Law No. 9, a key component of any employee’s employment revolves around the process by which he or she is paid. That process necessarily qualifies as one of the “nature, conditions, obligations or incidents of the employment.” Kenney, supra at 349. But for Claimant’s employment for Defendant, she would not have been in a position to complete the PTO form, and thus to be injured. Shaw, supra.
21. I conclude, therefore, that Claimant has established both that her injury occurred “in the course of” her employment and that it “arose out of” her employment as well. Her April 11, 2008 injury is compensable.
22. As Claimant has prevailed, she is entitled to an award of costs and attorney fees pursuant to 21 V.S.A. §678. In accordance with §678(e), Claimant shall have 30 days from the date of this decision within which to submit her claim.
ORDER:
Based on the foregoing findings of fact and conclusions of law, Defendant is hereby ORDERED to pay:
1. All workers’ compensation benefits to which Claimant proves her entitlement as causally related to her compensable right ankle injury, with interest as provided in 21 V.S.A. §664; and
2. Costs and attorney fees in accordance with 21 V.S.A. §678.
DATED at Montpelier, Vermont this 24th day of March 2010.
___________________________
Patricia Moulton Powden
Commissioner
Appeal:
Within 30 days after copies of this opinion have been mailed, either party may appeal questions of fact or mixed questions of law and fact to a superior court or questions of law to the Vermont Supreme Court. 21 V.S.A. §§670, 672.

© Copyright - -