Ronald Wayne Smith was employed by Modesto High School as
Ronald Wayne Smith was employed by Modesto High School as a temporary math instructor. In addition, he coached the girls’ baseball and basketball teams. The contract under which he was employed stated that he “may be required to devote a reasonable amount of time to other duties” in addition to instructional duties. The teachers in the school system were evaluated once a year regarding both instructional duties and non-instructional duties, including “sponsorship or the supervision of out of classroom student activities.”
The high school’s math club holds an annual end of year outing. A picnic was scheduled to be held at the Modesto Reservoir. The students invited their math teachers, including Smith, to attend. The food was paid for by math club members’ dues. Smith attended the picnic with his wife and three children. One of the students brought along a windsurfer. Smith watched the students as they used it before and after the picnic. When Smith tried it himself, he fell and was seriously injured. He died shortly thereafter. Mrs. Smith filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, to which the employer objected. Are Smith’s activities at the time of the accident employment related? Smith v. Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, 191 Cal. App. 3d 127, 236 Cal. Rptr. 248, 1987 Cal. App. Lexis 1587 (Court of Appeal of California)
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