Bettasso v. Snow-Hill Coal Corp.

Citation189 N.E.2d 833,135 Ind.App. 396
Decision Date02 May 1963
Docket NumberSNOW-HILL,No. 2,No. 19806,19806,2
PartiesMichael BETTASSO, Appellant, v.COAL CORPORATION, Appellee
CourtCourt of Appeals of Indiana

Paul P. Boyle, Terre Haute, for appellant.

James V. Donadio, Geoffrey Segar, Howard T. Batman of Ross, McCord, Ice & Miller, Indianapolis, for appellee.

PFAFF, Judge.

This is an appeal from the denial of workman's compensation by the Full Industrial Board to appellant Michael Bettasso for injuries allegedly arising out of and in the course of his employment.

The testimony in the record as to the events on the date of February 5, 1959, when the appellant received all of his injuries is not in conflict. On that day the appellant was performing his regular duties as a driller in the appellee's mine when his drill shorted out. The appellant received a severe electrical shock, so that he was doubled up and rendered practically unconscious. The appellant was then taken out of the mine to the wash-house where he regained consciousness. Company officials called Dr. Luckett, the company doctor, and they also sent for an ambulance.

The ambulance arrived before the doctor, and the appellant was placed on a stretcher in the back of the vehicle. When the ambulance had traveled three or four miles toward Union Hospital, the driver saw Dr. Luckett, who was enroute to the mine. When the ambulance slowed down, it was struck in the rear by a car, which was following it. The impact of the collision threw appellant Bettasso over the driver's seat and up against the windshield in front of the ambulance while he was strapped to the stretcher.

Dr. Luckett administered treatment to Bettasso while he was in the ambulance, and later he gave additional treatment at the hospital. Dr. Luckett cared for the appellant for three or four days, and Bettasso missed work for approximately eight or nine days. After the appellant returned to work, his legs and knees bothered him. He only worked part of the time. Bettasso had never had trouble with his knees before this accident. About September 1, 1959, Dr. Luckett operated on the appellant's knees, and the appellant did not work after the operation until November 5, 1959.

Since he returned to work in November 1959, Bettasso has lost approximately one day every two weeks, because his legs bother him. The appellant does the same work that he did prior to his electrical shock.

There is a conflict in the testimony as to the amount of impairment that the appellant suffered as a result of the accident. The estimates of permanent partial impairment to the man as a whole ranged from 5% to 35%. One doctor did not examine the appellant's knees, therefore he did not make an estimate.

A single hearing member of the Industrial Board determined that on February 5, 1959 the appellant had sustained an accidental injury arising out of and in the course of his employment, and further that he had sustained a permanent partial impairment of 15% of the man as a whole. The appellant was awarded compensation both for permanent partial impairment and temporary total disability.

The appellee filed for a review by the Full Industrial Board. The Full Board made the following determination:

'That on February 5, 1959, plaintiff, while in the employ of the defendant at an average weekly wage in excess of the maximum, sustained personal injury by reason of an accident arising out of and in the course of his employment with said defendant, of which said accident defendant had knowledge and furnished and paid part of the statutory medical attention and supplies; that as a result of said accidental injury plaintiff suffered no temporary total disability.

'It is further found that plaintiff's condition has now reached a permanent and quiescent state and as a result thereof plaintiff has suffered no permanent partial impairment.

'A majority of the members of the full Industrial Board of Indiana now find for the defendant and against the plaintiff on plaintiff's Form 9 application for the adjustment of claim for compensation, filed with the Industrial Board December 21, 1959.'

The appellant's Form No. 9 provides the following description of the accident and cause of injury:

'Claimant received severe electrical shock when drill shorted out, and knocked unconscious temporarily until power removed. Was taken to hospital in ambulance and injured in wreck about 5 or 4 miles from mine.'

While the Full Board's determination is not clear, all of the evidence shows that the appellant-claimant was injured. The only logical interpretation then is that the Board determined that two separate accidents were involved here, that the claimant's injuries all resulted from the second accident, and that the chain of causation between injury and employment was broken prior to the second accident. Neither the appellant nor the appellee dispute the fact that the appellant was injured in an accident arising out of and in the course of his employment when he received the electric shock; however, the appellee contends that the chain of causation was broken before the appellant was injured in the ambulance wreck.

Thus, this Court is faced with the following legal issue: when an employee is placed in an ambulance, which is called by his employer, after the employee is injured in an accident arising out of and in the course of his employment, are additional injuries sustained as a result of another vehicle colliding with the ambulance properly designated as injuries arising out of and in the course of employment so that they also are compensable? Indiana courts have never specifically ruled on this issue.

30 West's Indiana Law Encyclopedia, Workmen's Compensation,s 101, p. 336, provides:

'A distinction must be drawn between the terms 'out of' and 'in the course of' the employment; the words 'out of' point to the origin and cause of the accident or injury, * * * while the words 'in the course of' point to the time, place, and circumstances under which the accident or injury takes place, * * *'

From this distinction, it can readily...

To continue reading

Request your trial
12 cases
  • Dean v. Chrysler Corp.
    • United States
    • Michigan Supreme Court
    • July 3, 1990
    ...authorized and suggested that the claimant should see a doctor and offered to pay for the time missed); Bettasso v. Snow-Hill Coal Corp, 135 Ind.App. 396, 189 N.E.2d 833 (1963) (the employer placed the claimant in an ambulance which was then involved in an accident as a result of slowing do......
  • Case of McElroy
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • June 12, 1986
    ...for injuries sustained while traveling by ambulance from the site of a work-related injury, see, e.g., Bettasso v. Snow-Hill Coal Corp., 135 Ind.App. 396, 189 N.E.2d 833 (1963) (ambulance involved in collision), and for injuries sustained during the course of medical treatment, see, e.g., B......
  • Harris v. Mackin & Associates
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1994
    ...first injury; there is also virtually no element of employee choice or control over the transportation. See Bettasso v. Snow-Hill Coal Corp., 135 Ind.App. 396, 189 N.E.2d 833 (1963); Governair Corp. v. District Court of Oklahoma County, 293 P.2d 918 We are persuaded that the majority approa......
  • B. P. O. Elks, No. 209 v. Sponholtz
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
    • March 3, 1969
    ...among others, the following: Mathews v. Jim and Ed's Service Station (1963) 136 Ind.App. 28, 196 N.E.2d 282; Bettasso v. Snow-Hill Coal Corp. (1963) 135 Ind.App. 396, 189 N.E.2d 833; Mishawaka Rubber & Woolen Manufacturing Company v. Walker, Gdn., et al., (1949) (T.D.) 119 Ind.App. 309, 84 ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT