OF JUDGMENT: 03/22/2017
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: T. JACKSON LYONS
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEES: JEFFREY STEPHEN MOFFETT CHRISTOPHER
GRIFFIS, P.J., CARLTON AND WILSON, JJ.
George Huey was injured in a car wreck while traveling
through Alabama for work. Huey's employer, RGIS Inventory
Specialists, took the position that Huey was not entitled to
workers' compensation benefits because prior to the wreck
he had deviated from the course and scope of his employment
by becoming embroiled in a "road rage" incident
with another motorist. The Workers' Compensation
Commission ultimately denied Huey's claim for benefits on
that ground, this Court affirmed, and the Mississippi Supreme
Court denied Huey's petition for a writ of certiorari.
Huey v. RGIS Inventory Specialists, 168 So.3d 1145
(Miss. Ct. App.) (Huey I), cert. denied,
168 So.3d 1176 (Miss. 2014).
Just under a year after the appellate mandate issued in
Huey I, Huey filed a motion asking the Commission to
reopen his claim. Huey alleged that his claim had been denied
based on a mistake in a determination of fact because new
evidence showed that prior testimony about the wreck was
unreliable. The Commission denied Huey's motion after
finding (1) that the motion was untimely because it was filed
more than one year after the Mississippi Supreme Court denied
certiorari in Huey I and (2) that Huey failed to
present any "newly discovered evidence" and failed
to show any mistaken determination of fact.
We affirm the decision of the Commission. Huey's motion
to reopen was timely; however, we affirm the Commission's
ruling on the merits.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
On January 19, 2009, Huey was driving an RGIS van to
Tennessee to conduct an inventory audit. On Interstate 59/20
near Livingston, Alabama, he encountered a car driven by
Edwin Crawley. While Huey was trying to change lanes, his van
nearly collided with Crawley's car. The near miss forced
Crawley to swerve and "spin out" off the interstate
before regaining control of his car. This set in motion a
series of events that ultimately gave rise to Huey's
claim. In our prior opinion, we described those events as
[Crawley] began pursuing Huey. According to Huey's
testimony . . . it took Crawley approximately ten to
fifteen minutes to catch up to him. Crawley passed Huey and
moved into Huey's lane. Crawley then slowed down and
forced Huey to stop his van. The record indicates that Huey
and Crawley were stopped either partially or entirely in
the right lane of the interstate. It is undisputed that
Huey had enough room to drive around Crawley's car. . .
. Huey [testified] that he was looking for the button to
activate his flashers, and he had not come to a complete
stop, when he was struck from behind by an eighteen-wheeler
truck. Huey injured his back in the collision.
Alabama State Trooper Keith Wilson responded to the scene.
According to Trooper Wilson, Crawley told him that Huey had
been speeding past him and then slamming on his brakes.
Crawley added that Huey had done so "for several
miles." However, Huey told Trooper Wilson that Crawley
had been doing the same thing to him. That is, Huey said
that Crawley had been passing him, and then Crawley had
been slamming on his brakes while he had been driving in
front of Huey. Trooper Wilson later testified during a
deposition that both Huey and Crawley admitted to him that
they had been driving aggressively.
Huey I, 168 So.3d at 1147 (¶¶3-4).
Based in part on Trooper Wilson's testimony, the
Commission found that Huey had parked his van in the
right-hand lane of the interstate as part of a "road
rage" incident with Crawley. Thus, the Commission found
that Huey had departed from the scope and course of his
employment, so his injury was not compensable. On appeal,
this Court stated that "the record support[ed] more than
one possible explanation for why Huey stopped his van."
However, we found that "[i]t was within the
Commission's discretion to accept Trooper Wilson's
testimony" and to then find that a road rage incident
was "the best and most reasonable explanation for an
individual parking his vehicle in the right-hand lane of an
interstate highway." Id. at 1148 (¶8)
(brackets omitted). This Court also concluded that the
Commission was not required to accept Huey's version of