Banks v. Chicago Grain Trimmers Association, No. 59

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtSTEWART
Citation20 L.Ed.2d 30,88 S.Ct. 1140,390 U.S. 459
PartiesAgnes M. BANKS, etc., Petitioner, v. CHICAGO GRAIN TRIMMERS ASSOCIATION, Inc., et al
Docket NumberNo. 59
Decision Date01 April 1968

390 U.S. 459
88 S.Ct. 1140
20 L.Ed.2d 30
Agnes M. BANKS, etc., Petitioner,

v.

CHICAGO GRAIN TRIMMERS ASSOCIATION, Inc., et al.

No. 59.
Argued Jan. 17, 1968.
Decided April 1, 1968.
Rehearing Denied May 20, 1968.

See 391 U.S. 929, 88 S.Ct. 1800.

Page 460

Harold A. Liebenson, Chicago, Ill., for petitioner.

Mark A. Braun, Chicago, Ill., for respondents.

Mr. Justice STEWART delivered the opinion of the Court.

On January 30, 1961, shortly after returning home from work, the petitioner's husband suffered a fall that resulted in his death on February 12. On February 20, 1961, the petitioner on behalf of herself and her three minor children filed a claim against her husband's employer,1 the respondent, for compensation death benefits under the Longshoremen's and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act. 44 Stat. 1424, 33 U.S.C. §§ 901—950. The petitioner alleged that her husband's fall on January 30 had resulted from a work-connected injury suffered on January 26. A hearing was held before a Department of Labor Deputy Commissioner; and on June 8, 1961, the Deputy Commissioner rejected the petitioner's claim for failure to establish that her husband's death had resulted from a work-connected injury.2 The petitioner did not

Page 461

bring an action in District Court to set aside the Deputy Commissioner's ruling. 33 U.S.C. § 921. Some time after the Deputy Commissioner's decision, the petitioner discovered an eyewitness to a work-connected injury suffered by her husband on January 30, the same day as his fall at home. On August 22, 1961, the petitioner filed a second compensation action against the respondent—this time alleging that the fall resulted from an injury suffered on January 30.

On September 8, 1961, the petitioner began a wrongful-death action in the Northern District of Illinois against a third party, the Norris Grain Company, alleging that her husband's fall resulted from the same January 30 injury. On May 3, 1963, a jury rendered a verdict of $30,000 for the petitioner in that lawsuit. The grain company moved for a new trial, and the trial judge ruled that the motion would be granted unless the petitioner consented to a remittitur of $11,000. On May 16, 1963, without consulting the respondent, the petitioner accepted the remittitur. Judgment was entered for.$19,000.

On August 29, 1963, a hearing on the petitioner's second compensation action commenced. On January 27, 1964, the Deputy Commissioner entered findings of fact and an award for the petitioner. The respondent brought an action in District Court to set the award aside. The District Court affirmed, but the Court of Appeals reversed. 369 F.2d 344. We granted certiorari to consider questions concerning the administration of the Longshoremen's and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act. 389 U.S. 813, 88 S.Ct. 30, 19 L.Ed.2d 63.

The Court of Appeals held that the petitioner's second compensation action was barred by the doctrine of res judicata. The petitioner contends that that doctrine

Page 462

is displaced in this case by the operation of § 22 of the Act,3 which provides:

'Upon his own initiative, or upon the application of any party in interest, on the ground of a change in conditions of because of a mistake in a determination of fact by the deputy commissioner, the deputy commissioner may, at any time prior to one year after the date of the last payment of compensation, whether or not a compensation order has been issued, or at any time prior to one year after the rejection of a claim, review a compensation case in accordance with the procedure prescribed (for original claims), and in accordance with such section issue a new compensation order which may terminate, continue, reinstate, increase, or decrease such compensation, or award compensation.' 33 U.S.C. § 922. (Emphasis added.)

The petitioner asserts that her second compensation action came under § 22 because it challenged a 'determination of fact by the deputy commissioner' in her original compensation action namely, the finding that her husband's fall did not result from a work-connected injury. The respondent argues that 'a mistake in a determination of fact' in § 22 refers only to clerical errors and matters concerning an employee's disability, not to matters concerning an employer's liability. Conceding that nothing in the statutory language supports this reading, the respondent contends that the legislative history reveals Congress' limited purpose.4

Page 463

Section 22 was first enacted as part of the original Longshoremen's and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act in 1927. 44 Stat. 1437. At that time the section provided for review by the Deputy Commissioner only on the ground of a 'change in conditions.' The Deputy Commissioner was authorized by the section to 'terminate, continue, increase, or decrease' the original compensation award; review was permitted only 'during the term of an award.'

From 1930 to 1933, the United States Employees' Compensation Commission, which was charged with administering the Act, recommended in its annual reports that § 22 be amended to permit review by the Deputy Commissioner at any time. 14th Ann.Rep. of the United States Employees' Compensation Commission (hereafter USECC) 75 (1930); 15th Ann.Rep. USECC 77 (1931); 16th Ann.Rep. USECC 49 (1932); 17th Ann.Rep. USECC 18 (1933).5 In 1934 Congress, while not

Page 464

adopting the recommendation entirely, responded by amending § 22 to permit review 'any time prior to one year after the date of the last payment of compensation.'6 48 Stat. 807. At the same time Congress added a second ground for review by the Deputy Commissioner: 'a mistake in a determination of fact.' The purpose of this amendment was to 'broaden the grounds on which a deputy commissioner can modify an...

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333 practice notes
  • Old Ben Coal Co. v. Director, Owcp, No. 00-3222.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • May 31, 2002
    ...Both of these terms have been interpreted broadly by the Supreme Court. We look first to Banks v. Chicago Grain Trimmers Association, 390 U.S. 459, 88 S.Ct. 1140, 20 L.Ed.2d 30 (1968). In Banks, a surviving widow had filed a first compensation claim based on a work-related injury her husban......
  • Chappell v. Drummond Company, Inc., BRB 11-0290 BLA
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Black Lung Complaints
    • January 31, 2012
    ...earlier determination; it should be granted only where doing so will render justice under the Act. See Banks v. Chi. Grain Trimmers Ass'n, 390 U.S. 459, 464 (1968) (the purpose of modification under the Longshore Act, also applicable to the Black Lung Benefits Act, is to “render justice.”);......
  • United States v. Crosson, No. 71-2049.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • July 28, 1972
    ...61 S.Ct. 102, 85 L.Ed. 40 (1940), rehearing denied 311 U.S. 729, 61 S.Ct. 390, 85 L.Ed. 475 (1940); Banks v. Chicago Grain Trimmers Assn., 390 U.S. 459, 88 S.Ct. 1140, 20 L.Ed.2d 40 (1968); rehearing denied 391 U.S. 929, 88 S.Ct. 1800, 20 L.Ed.2d 671 (1968); Malat v. Riddel, 383 U.S. 569, 8......
  • Crowe v. Zeigler Coal Co., No. 10–2174.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • June 1, 2011
    ...Court has long understood the modification provision in the statute to convey broad authority. In Banks v. Chicago Grain Trimmers Ass'n, 390 U.S. 459, 461–64, 88 S.Ct. 1140, 20 L.Ed.2d 30 (1968), a claimant filed a second petition for benefits, alleging a completely different theory of liab......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
333 cases
  • Old Ben Coal Co. v. Director, Owcp, No. 00-3222.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • May 31, 2002
    ...Both of these terms have been interpreted broadly by the Supreme Court. We look first to Banks v. Chicago Grain Trimmers Association, 390 U.S. 459, 88 S.Ct. 1140, 20 L.Ed.2d 30 (1968). In Banks, a surviving widow had filed a first compensation claim based on a work-related injury her husban......
  • Chappell v. Drummond Company, Inc., BRB 11-0290 BLA
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Black Lung Complaints
    • January 31, 2012
    ...earlier determination; it should be granted only where doing so will render justice under the Act. See Banks v. Chi. Grain Trimmers Ass'n, 390 U.S. 459, 464 (1968) (the purpose of modification under the Longshore Act, also applicable to the Black Lung Benefits Act, is to “render justice.”);......
  • United States v. Crosson, No. 71-2049.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • July 28, 1972
    ...61 S.Ct. 102, 85 L.Ed. 40 (1940), rehearing denied 311 U.S. 729, 61 S.Ct. 390, 85 L.Ed. 475 (1940); Banks v. Chicago Grain Trimmers Assn., 390 U.S. 459, 88 S.Ct. 1140, 20 L.Ed.2d 40 (1968); rehearing denied 391 U.S. 929, 88 S.Ct. 1800, 20 L.Ed.2d 671 (1968); Malat v. Riddel, 383 U.S. 569, 8......
  • Crowe v. Zeigler Coal Co., No. 10–2174.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • June 1, 2011
    ...Court has long understood the modification provision in the statute to convey broad authority. In Banks v. Chicago Grain Trimmers Ass'n, 390 U.S. 459, 461–64, 88 S.Ct. 1140, 20 L.Ed.2d 30 (1968), a claimant filed a second petition for benefits, alleging a completely different theory of liab......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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