Bush v. Parmenter, Forsythe, Rude & Dethmers
Michigan Supreme Court
320 N.W.2d 858, 413 Mich. 444 (1982)
Orrin Bush (plaintiff) was an attorney who worked for the law firm Parmenter, Forsythe, Rude & Dethmers (Parmenter) (defendant) in Muskegon, Michigan. On October 5, 1971, Bush went to a one-hour seminar in Grand Rapids, Michigan, about 40 miles away and approximately a one-hour drive from Muskegon. After the seminar ended at 5:00 p.m., Bush stayed for the cocktail hour, having two drinks before driving back to Muskegon at around 6:00 p.m. Instead of going straight home, Bush went to some bars a few miles from his home, arriving at the first bar around 8:00 p.m., and he continued drinking. After the bars closed, Bush went to a nearby restaurant, where he was belligerent and clearly intoxicated. Finally at a little after 3:00 a.m., Bush left the restaurant to go home, traveling through a high-crime area. At about 3:10 a.m., Bush was shot and killed inside his car in what appeared to be an attempted robbery. An autopsy established that Bush had a high blood alcohol level at the time of his death. Bush’s dependents filed a claim for workers’ compensation. The referee allowed the claim, explaining that Bush’s stops at bars and a restaurant were a deviation from his employment, but the deviation ended once Bush was heading home again. The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) reversed, holding that the deviation was so personal and extensive that Bush’s return trip home was no longer was business related. The court of appeals reversed the WCAB decision, reasoning that because Bush was at a work-required seminar, Parmenter bore the risk for the complete round trip. Parmenter appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Williams, J.)
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