Court of Appeals Decision: Michael Bukovic v. LIRC (Worker’s Compensation)

In Michael Bukovic v. LIRC (2017AP1612), the Court of Appeals District III held that the plaintiff was not entitled to worker’s compensation fees because he was acting outside the course of his employment.

Bukovic worked at CPF, Inc., a machine and fabrication shop, and was injured in an explosion while trying to transfer gas from a CPF tank to his own personal tank. Bukovic intended to use the gas for a welder at his home. While CPF allows employees to purchase items from its inventory, Bukovic never asked to purchase the gas, nor was transferring gas between tanks a standard practice that took place on site.

The appeals court upheld the Labor and Industry Review Commission’s decision that Bukovic was not “performing services growing out of and incidental to his…employment” (Wis. Stat. § 102.03(1)(c)1.) when he transferred the gas without permission and caused the explosion. Thus, Bukovic was not entitled to worker’s compensation.