43 A.D.2d 641, Millar v. Town of Newburgh

Citation:43 A.D.2d 641, 349 N.Y.S.2d 218
Party Name:Millar v. Town of Newburgh
Case Date:November 15, 1973
Court:New York Supreme Court Appelate Division

Page 641

43 A.D.2d 641

349 N.Y.S.2d 218

Claim of Ruth H. MILLAR, Respondent,


TOWN OF NEWBURGH et al., Appellants.

Workmen's Compensation Board, Respondent.

Supreme Court of New York, Third Department

November 15, 1973.

Thomas J. Doughty, Beacon, for respondent.

Miller, Ouimette & Moran, Poughkeepsie (Davison F. Moore, Poughkeepsie, of counsel), for appellants.

[349 N.Y.S.2d 219] Louis J. Lefkowitz, Atty. Gen. (Daniel Polansky, Harry Rackow, New York City, of counsel), for respondent Workmen's Compensation Board.



Appeal by the employer and its insurance carrier from a decision of the Workmen's Compensation Board awarding the claimant death benefits.

The board in this case has found that the decedent had sustained an accidental injury in the nature of an acute myocardial infarction on April 10, 1968 due to an emotional strain, and that his death on April 13, 1968 was causally related to his accidental injury.

We fully recognize that in light of the Court of Appeals decisions in Matter of Snyder v. New York State Comm. for Human Rights, 31 N.Y.2d 284, 338 N.Y.S.2d 620, 290 N.E.2d 821; Matter of Schuren v. Wolfson, 30 N.Y.2d 90, 330 N.Y.S.2d 368, 281 N.E.2d 169, and Matter of McCormick v. Green Bus Lines, 29 N.Y.2d 246, 326 N.Y.S.2d 557, 276 N.E.2d 619, the test in cases such as the instant one is whether employment is shown to have produced a strain on the individual and there is sufficient medical proof to establish causal relationship between the strain and cardiac event (e.g., Matter of McKane v. Edson Structures, 43 A.D.2d 663, 349 N.Y.S.2d 339 (1973); Matter of Tilney v. Harrison & Abramowitz, 42 A.D.2d 1049, 348 N.Y.S.2d 1019 (1973)). Nevertheless, we cannot accept that compensation benefits should be awarded in the instant case.

Briefly stated decedent became 'emotionally upset' when his employer decided to divide his supervisory duties into two separate employments and hired a new man at $10,000 a year, whereas decedent was then receiving

Page 642

$6,000, to take over one of the two departments decedent had formerly jointly headed. There was no decrease in decedent's salary. The 'emotional stress' of being confronted with this employment development, the board has found, led to a myocardial infarction which resulted in decedent's death and...

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