O'Brien v. First Camden Nat. Bank & Trust Co.

Decision Date15 November 1960
Docket NumberNo. 41543,41543
PartiesAnna E. O'BRIEN, Petitioner-Respondent, v. FIRST CAMDEN NATIONAL BANK & TRUST COMPANY, Respondent-Appellant.
CourtNew Jersey County Court

Joseph R. Moss, Runnemeade, for petitioner-respondent.

A. Millard Taylor, Camden, for respondent-appellant.


This is an appeal from an award made on a dependency claim petition filed under the Workmen's Compensation Act. The facts are not in dispute.

The decedent was employed by the respondent-appellant as a custodian or guard. He died as a result of being struck by an automobile on September 9, 1958. He was crossing from the south to the north side of East Browning Lane, a public highway in the Borough of Bellmawr in Camden County. The respondent-appellant operates a branch bank in the Borough of Bellmawr and although decedent started work for it on August 4, 1958, the branch bank did not officially open until August 14, 1958, at which time decedent's duties as custodian or guard commenced. The testimony indicates that prior to August 14, 1958 a conference was held between the manager of the Bellmawr branch of the employer's bank and the chief of police of the Borough of Bellmawr, at which time the chief of police indicated that for security reasons a police officer should accompany the decedent to the bank each morning when the decedent was obliged to open the door for the day's business. The branch manager and the chief of police then agreed that decedent should call at the police station each morning before proceeding to the bank, at which place a police officer would be assigned to take the decedent in a police car to the bank and the assigned policeman would be present when the bank door was opened by decedent. This practice contined without incident until September 9, 1958. For the period from August 14, 1958 to September 9, 1958 it was the custom of decedent's son to drive his father, as a convenience, in the son's automobile to the police station where the father would alight, enter the police station and the son would continue on his own pursuits. On the morning of September 9, 1958, shortly before 8 a.m., the decedent alighted from his son's automobile on the south side of East Browning Lane and the son drove away. Since the police station is situated on the north side of East Browning Lane, the decedent was required to cross the street, and while crossing the street he was struck by a passing automobile and sustained injuries which caused his death.

The wife of decedent was his sole dependent. The deputy director found that decedent's death arose out of and in the course of his employment and made an award to his dependent.

Ordinarily, when an employee is on his way to his regular place of employment or is on his way home from his employment and is fatally injured such injury does not arise out of and in the course of his employment. Morris v. Hermann Forwarding Co., 18 N.J. 195, 113 A.2d 513 (1955); Moosebrugger v. Prospect Presbyterian Church, 12 N.J. 212, 96 A.2d 401 (1953); Gullo v. American Lead Pencil Co., 119 N.J.L. 484, 196 A. 438 (E. & A.1938); Gilroy v. Standard Oil Co., 107 N.J.L. 170, 151 A. 598 (E. & A.1930). This is referred to as the 'going and coming rule.'

There have been drawn from that rule a number of exceptions. Where an employee found a front door of the building in which her employer was a tenant locked and, as was customary, attempted to enter through the back door, she was injured by falling on ice near the back door, Cossari v. L. Stein & Co., 1 N.J.Super. 39, 62 A.2d 143 (App.Div.1948); where claimant, an employee at a newsstand in a railroad station, had fallen while descending a stairway on the railroad's premises from the public street to the station floor and sustained injuries, Cerria v. Union News Co., 31 N.J.Super. 369, 106 A.2d 745 (App.Div.1954); where, preparatory to reporting for work, the car in which the employee came to work was parked in the employees' parking lot and he slipped and fell on an icy sidewalk while he was walking from the parking lot to the employees' entrance to the building, and this route was the only means of access from the lot to the building, Lewis v. Walter Scott & Co., Inc., 50 N.J.Super. 283, 141 A.2d 807 (App.Div.1958).

In Cossari the principal reason was that the claimant had left the public highway and was entering his employer's premises through a proper means of ingress so closely related to the place of employment that it may be deemed incidental thereto; in Cerria the same reason as in Cossari was adopted; in Lewis the principal reason given for a distinction was the fact that the claimant had arrived at work once he entered the parking lot.

Another exception developed by our courts involved a school teacher who, in addition to her duties of teaching, was required to assume an extra-curricular activity and she chose the job as faculty advisor for the Junior Girls Reserve Club. One evening, after she left a party given by that group and was in her auto which was parked in a parking lot a half-block away from the location of the party, she was struck in the head by some unknown person who was hiding in the back of the car. Bobertz v....

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3 cases
  • O'Brien v. First Camden Nat. Bank & Trust Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)
    • April 2, 1962
    ...accident arose out of and in the course of his employment. The Deputy Director made an award, the County Court reversed, 64 N.J.Super. 127, 165 A.2d 325 (1960), and was affirmed by the Appellate Division, 68 N.J.Super. 177, 172 A.2d 16 (1961). We granted certification, 36 N.J. 135, 174 A.2d......
  • O'Brien v. First Camden Nat. Bank & Trust Co., A--268
    • United States
    • New Jersey Superior Court – Appellate Division
    • June 13, 1961
    ...by PRICE, S.J.A.D. Petitioner Anna E. O'Brien seeks to set aside a judgment in the County Court based on an opinion reported at 64 N.J.Super. 127, 165 A.2d 325. Said judgment, dismissing her dependency claim petition, reversed a judgment in the Workmen's Compensation Division which had awar......
  • Watson's Estate, In re, 167246
    • United States
    • New Jersey County Court. New Jersey County Court — Probate Division
    • November 15, 1960
    ...... during her lifetime, and he handled her bank accounts, prepared checks for her signature, made ... in whom decedent placed a great deal of trust. Decedent's husband died about 15 years prior to ... deposit of securities, and designating the First National Bank of Jersey City as custodian of the ....         Dickerson v. Camden Trust Co., 140 N.J.Eq. 34, 53, 53 A.2d 225 ......

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