Home-office worker denied comp benefits

May 2, 2010 at 5:08 PM

AUSTIN, Texas, May 2 (UPI) -- The Texas Supreme Court will hear the case of a woman who was denied workers' compensation benefits because she worked in a home office, her lawyer said.

Medical saleswoman Liana Leordeanu was driving from a business meeting to her home office when her car crashed, resulting in a three-month coma and 26 subsequent surgeries on her face and skull, the Austin (Texas) American reported Sunday.

Leordeanu applied for workers' comp insurance benefits, but American Protection Insurance Co. denied her claim. An Austin, Texas court upheld the denial last year, saying the car trip was not purely work-related because she was returning home, the newspaper said.

Her lawyer, Brad McClellan said the entire purpose of Leordeanu's travel was to further the interests of her company, and workers' comp should apply to every mile of the trip -- "coming, going, in the middle segments or anything else."

"There was nothing personal about the trip that day. It was all business," McClellan said.

Leordeanu has appealed the lower court decision, and the Texas Supreme Court will rule on how much insurance protection work-from-home employees can expect when traveling for their jobs.

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