Shunk v. Gulf American Land Corp.
224 So.2d 269 (Fla. 1969)
- Shunk had a real estate license and basically worked as a saleswoman for Gulf American Land Corporation.
- She would find prospective lot purchasers, solicit them, and then get them on a plane to her employer’s real estate development near Naples, Florida.
- While soliciting Luther Tanly, they had dinner with a couple others (one being Mr. Keller, Shunk’s supervisor).
- After dinner ended around 12:30 AM, Shunk went up to Tanly’s room.
- She testified that this was part of her job – i.e., know where they are staying so that she can wake them up early for the flight.
- Tanly made improper advances toward her and she tried to get away, falling 25 feet from a window.
- She filed for workers’ comp.
- The Judge of Industrial Claims found that in the course and scope of her employment Mrs. Shunk accompanied Mr. Tanly to his apartment to ascertain his room number.
- The Full Commission reversed.
- “We feel that the facts clearly show that the claimant had deviated from her employment prior to the accident.“
Whether claimant was acting within the course and scope of her employment at the time of her injuries.
Yes. Case reversed.
- Keller testified by deposition that the duties of the solicitors employed by Gulf American included the following: Finding prospects anywhere, any time, any place they could do so (including restaurants, beaches, motels); obtaining from the prospects their hotel or motel room numbers, telephone numbers, and the responsibility for getting the prospects up early in the mornings to catch the 7:00 A.M. plane.
- The court held that while the circumstances might create a suspicious inference, the nature of this type of employment appears to warrant this. Thus, in a debatable situation like this the court decided to lean in the claimant’s favor.
Rule: Social activities for sales work are generally considered “part of the job,” therefore entitled to workers’ compensation for injuries.