DAVID D. GRIEGO, Worker-Appellant,
JONES LANG LASALLE, and THE HARTFORD, Employer/Insurer-Appellee.
FROM THE WORKERS' COMPENSATION ADMINISTRATION Leonard J.
Padilla, Workers' Compensation Judge
PIZZONIA LAW JUSTIN P. PIZZONIA ROSE BRYAN ALBUQUERQUE, NM
LAW, LLC JEFFREY P. STRADLING ALBUQUERQUE, NM FOR APPELLEE
MICHAEL E. VIGIL, JUDGE
David Griego (Worker) appeals from the workers'
compensation judge's (WCJ) compensation order denying him
workers' compensation for an injury resulting from a
trip-and-fall that occurred on the job. Worker argues that
the WCJ erred in concluding that his accident did not arise
out of and in the course of his employment. See NMSA
1978, § 52-1-9 (1973) ("The right to the
compensation provided for in [the Workers' Compensation
Act (WCA)] .. . shall obtain in all cases where the following
conditions occur:... at the time of the accident, the
employee is performing service arising out of and in the
course of his employment and ... the injury or death is
proximately caused by accident arising out of and in the
course of his employment"). We reverse.
The material facts are not disputed. Worker is employed by a
contractor for Intel, John Lang LaSalle (Employer), as a
maintenance technician. Worker's duties include
"fulfilling tenant service requests and performing
preventative maintenance and repairs" at the Intel job
site. To fulfill these duties, Worker walks long distances in
the corridors of the Intel building, which is over a mile
long. Maintenance technicians at Intel walk up to twelve
miles each day in the facility's corridors and average
eight miles of walking per day.
It is Intel's policy for another technician to
"spot" the technician performing: repairs on a
given project for safety reasons due to the dangers of the
facility. When spotting another technician, the spotter's
job is to observe and call for help if needed.
On July 6, 2015, Worker was working as a spotter for another
maintenance; technician. In order to get to the location of
his job assignment, Worker was required to walk in the Intel
corridors. As Worker walked to his job assignment, he tripped
over his own foot, causing him to fall. As a result of his
fall, Worker sustained a I fracture to his humerus.
There was no substance or object on the floor that caused
Worker to fall. There I was no sudden noise or bright light
that startled Worker when he fell. The floor was even; it had
no slope or incline. Nor was there evidence that Worker
suffers from ¶ any neurological or other deficit,
preexisting condition, or infirmity that might have i
contributed to his fall.
Employer's insurer (Insurer) denied Worker's claim
for workers' compensation coverage on grounds that
Worker's fall was not work-related. Worker i filed a
complaint with the Workers' Compensation Administration,
claiming that he ' was wrongfully denied
workers' compensation. Employer/Insurer responded that 1
Worker "did not suffer an accidental injury arising out
of and in the course of his » employment, and the
accident was not reasonably incident to his employment."
After trial on the merits and submission of proposed findings
of facts and conclusions of law by the parties, the WCJ
entered an order determining that Worker was not entitled to
workers' compensation. The WCJ found and concluded that:
"[n]o risk reasonably incident to Worker's
employment caused Worker's fall or injury[, ]"
"[t]he risk experienced by Worker was not increased by
the circumstances of Worker's employment" and
therefore Worker's accident "did not arise out of
Worker's employment with Employer." Worker appeals.