OPINION ISSUED APRIL 28, 1993
LARRY C. MCNAIR
BUREAU OF EMPLOYMENT PROGRAMS
Claimant present in person.
Jack O. Friedman, Attorney at Law, for respondent.
Claimant, Larry C. McNair, seeks an award from the Bureau of Employment Programs, Employment
Service Division, for loss of personal property sustained by a breaking and entering of a West
Virginia State owned vehicle at 7:00 p.m. on September 29, 1992, in Cambridge, Ohio.
From the evidence adduced at the hearing on February 25, 1993, it appears that the claimant was
employed by the respondent State agency as a Programmer Analyst; that he was returning to Cross
Lanes, West Virginia, from Wheeling, in a State-owned vehicle; that he stopped in Cambridge, Ohio,
to dine at a restaurant; that the vehicle was vandalized; and that claimant's personal property, as well
as State-owned property was stolen. The damage to the vehicle and the loss of the State-owned
property were reimbursed by the State's insurance; however, the claimant was not reimbursed for his
personal property which was stolen. He estimated the value of his stolen belongings at $1,095.85.
This Court finds, after reviewing the record, that the claimant was required to travel as a result of
his employment and that certain of the personal items which were stolen were necessary items for
travel. The State, being the owner of the vehicle, had the right to control the details of the work done
by the claimant, therefore, creating a master-servant relationship. MacGregor v. Bradshaw, 193 Va.
787, 71 S.E.2d 361 (1952). 193 Va. 787, 71 S.E.2d 361 (1952). Courts have held that once in control
of the master's property, the joinder of the master's and servant's business will not relieve the master
from responsibility if the deviation is not too extensive. Likewise, in the instant claim, the claimant
was in control of the master's property while discharging the master's business. The fact that the
claimant had personal possessions inside the master's vehicle does not relieve the master of
responsibility when the claimant was acting
within the normal scope of business and the personal items of the claimant were necessary for
carrying out the business of the master. cf. Kidd v. Dewitt, 128 Va. 438, 105 S.E. 124 (1920).
The claimant seeks an award for $1,095.85. However, after reviewing the list of items stolen, this
Court finds that some of the items on the list were not necessary for the claimant's employment and
denies reimbursement for such items.
Accordingly, this Court grants an award in the amount of $1,030.16.
Award of $1,030.16.