Brenner v. Brenner

Decision Date02 December 1915
Docket Number46.
Citation96 A. 287,127 Md. 189
PartiesBRENNER et al. v. BRENNER et al.
CourtMaryland Court of Appeals

Appeal from Superior Court of Baltimore City; Henry Duffy, Judge.

Proceedings under the Workmen's Compensation Act by Toba Brenner and another for compensation for injuries resulting in the death of their son and brother, opposed by Joe Brenner, trading as the Reliable Junk Company, the employer, and the Ocean Accident & Guarantee Corporation, Limited, the insurer. Compensation was awarded, the insurer appealed to the superior court of Baltimore city, and from an order dismissing the appeal, it appeals; the employer being also joined as an appellant. Affirmed.


George Weems Williams, of Baltimore (William L. Marbury, Frank Gosnell, and William L. Rawis, all of Baltimore, on the brief), for appellants.

Frank G. Wagaman, of Hagerstown (Albert J. Long, of Hagers town, on the brief), for appellees.


The primary question presented on this appeal is the correctness of a ruling of the superior court of Baltimore city as to the jurisdiction of that court to entertain an appeal which had been taken to it from an award of the state Industrial Accident Commission. The facts, so far as they are necessary to be now considered, are as follows:

The Reliable Junk Company was engaged in conducting a business such as the name implies, in Hagerstown, Washington county. The name was not that of a corporation, but a name for a business which was conducted either by Joe Brenner alone or by him in connection with a Mr. Coffman, or by one or the other or both of these gentlemen in connection with Morris Brenner.

On January 15, 1915, Toba Brenner and Mary Brenner, the mother and sister, respectively, of Morris Brenner, filed a claim under chapter 800 of the Acts of 1914 (Workmen's Compensation Act) as dependents of Morris Brenner, the son and brother of the claimants, in which it was alleged that Morris Brenner was an employé of the Reliable Junk Company and while such employé received injuries resulting in death on the 5th of December, 1914. The Industrial Accident Commission by its findings held the business to be that of Joe Brenner, that Morris Brenner was an employé, that he suffered death as the result of an explosion while working for and upon the premises occupied by the Reliable Junk Company, that the claimants were partial dependents, and awarded them compensation. The Ocean Accident & Guarantee Corporation, Limited, which had issued a policy, and was thus the insurance carrier of the liability, was made a party to the proceedings. Upon the award being made by the commission an appeal was taken by the Guarantee Corporation to the superior court of Baltimore city, whereupon Toba and Mary Brenner, through their counsel, moved to dismiss the appeal which motion was granted, and the appeal dismissed, and it is from such order of dismissal of that appeal that the case has been brought to this court.

The question presented by the motion is one of jurisdiction only. To sustain that jurisdiction the appellants rely upon section 55 of the act, codified as section 56 of article 101 of the Code, and particularly upon the following language in said section:

"Any employer, employé, beneficiary or person feeling aggrieved by any decision of the commission affecting his interests under this act may have the same reviewed by a proceeding in the nature of an appeal and initiated in the circuit court of the county or in the common-law courts of Baltimore city having jurisdiction over the place where the accident occurred or over the person appealing from such decision, and the court shall determine whether the commission has justly considered all the facts concerning injury, whether it has exceeded the powers granted it by the act, whether it has misconstrued the law and facts applicable in the case decided."

The argument is that, inasmuch as jurisdiction to entertain such appeal is conferred upon the court having jurisdiction over the person appealing from such decision, and that appeal in the present case having been taken by the insurance carrier, a corporation, the agent of which is within the jurisdiction of the superior court, therefore that tribunal is clothed with power to entertain the appeal.

It is also true that the insurance carrier in this case, a foreign corporation which has complied with the statutes so as to enable it to do business in this state, is amenable to the process of any of the courts of this state. It is necessary, therefore, to determine, if possible, the intent of the Legislature in the passage of the act upon this subject. By section 60 of the act it was provided that:

"The rule that statutes in derogation of the common law are to be strictly construed shall have no application to this act; but this act shall be so interpreted and construed as to effectuate its general purpose."

The rules of statutory construction have been laid down in this state in the following language:

"The cardinal rule in the construction of a statute is to ascertain the intention of the Legislature as it is expressed in the words of the statute, and for this purpose the whole of the act must be considered together." ( Mitchell v. State, 115 Md. 360, 80 A. 1020; Healy v. State, 115 Md. 377, 80 A. 1074; Purnell v. State Bd. of Ed., 125 Md. 266, 93 A. 518), and "the real intent, when ascertained, will always prevail over the literal sense of the

To continue reading

Request your trial

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