Before Bridges, C.j., Herring, And Southwick, JJ.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Herring, J.
DATE OF JUDGMENT: 8/12/96 TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JAMES W. BACKSTROM COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: GEORGE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT
NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - WORKERS' COMPENSATION TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: REVERSED ORDER OF MISSISSIPPI WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION AND DENIED COMPENSATION TO THE CLAIMANT.
DISPOSITION REVERSED - 6/9/98
MOTION FOR REHEARING FILED:
¶1. Bonita G. Green appeals to this Court from an order and judgment issued by the Circuit Court of George County, Mississippi, which denied her claim for workers' compensation benefits. The Appellant was assaulted and robbed on her way to work at the Glen Oaks Nursing Center by an unknown assailant, after which she was hospitalized. The Mississippi Workers' Compensation Commission awarded benefits to Green as a result of her injuries. However, the Circuit Court reversed the decision of the Commission, holding that the record contained insufficient evidence to allow a Conclusion that Green's injuries arose out of her employment relationship. We disagree with the Circuit Court and therefore reverse and reinstate the findings of the Commission.
¶2. The facts in this action are not in dispute. Bonita G. Green was a Licensed Practical Nurse who was employed by the Glen Oaks Nursing Center in Lucedale, Mississippi. Her hours of employment were from 11:00 P.M. to 7:00 A.M. She was required by her employer (1) to report for her work shift ten to twenty minutes early in order to facilitate an efficient shift change, and (2) to park in the rear or side parking lots of the Nursing Center building in order to allow parking in the front of the building for visitors.
¶3. Green arrived for work on the evening of July 29, 1993, at approximately 10:35 P.M. and parked her vehicle in her usual parking space in the rear parking lot of the Nursing Center, all in accordance with her employer's instructions. Her parking space was located twenty-five to thirty feet from the back door of the building.
¶4. When Green got out of her vehicle, she was accosted by a man with a handgun who demanded that she surrender her purse. When she did so, she was struck on the head with the handgun and fell to the ground. The unknown assailant then fled and was never apprehended. The Appellant was ultimately taken to a nearby hospital where she was hospitalized and required sutures to close the wound which she received to her head. The Nursing Center had employed no security guards to prevent such an occurrence.
¶5. After the attack on July 29, 1993, Green continued to receive treatment for headaches, anxiety, and vision problems. However, she returned to light duty work on September 24, 1993, and to regular duty with no restrictions on October 1, 1993. The Nursing Center denied that the assault suffered by Green was a compensable incident.
¶6. Green filed her petition to controvert with the Mississippi Workers' Compensation Commission on June 22, 1994, and at the hearing on June 14, 1995, before the Commission's Administrative Judge, sought only medical and temporary total disability benefits. The Administrative judge awarded temporary total disability benefits to Green in the amount of $217.95 per week from July 29, 1993, until September 30, 1993, with penalties of ten percent for each installment not timely paid, as authorized by section 71-3-37 of the Mississippi Code Annotated (Supp. 1990). In addition, Green's employer was required to pay for all reasonable and necessary medical services ...