Burger Chef Systems, Inc. v. Wilson, 170A7

Docket NºNo. 2
Citation23 Ind.Dec. 174, 262 N.E.2d 660, 147 Ind.App. 556
Case DateOctober 15, 1970
CourtCourt of Appeals of Indiana

Theodore L. Locke, Jr. and Edwin J. Bunny, Locke, Reynolds, Boyd & Weisell, Indianapolis, for appellant.

Thomas J. Corey, Indianapolis, for appellees.

HOFFMAN, Presiding Justice.

This is an appeal from an award of the Full Industrial Board of Indiana ordering appellant-Burger Chef Systems, Inc. to pay death benefits to appellees, the dependent parents of Samuel L. Wilson, Jr., deceased, a sixteen year old employee of appellant.

The issue presented by this appeal is: Did the accidental death of appellant's employee arise out of and in the course of his employment as required by statute? 1

The facts in the record before us are as follows:

On October 26, 1968, Samuel L. Wilson, Jr., the deceased, went to the Fairgrounds Burger Chef where he was employed. His purpose was to attend a compulsory monthly meeting and pick up his paycheck. The meeting was presided over by the general manager of that Burger Chef and afterwards the paychecks were given out. At the meeting they discussed cleanliness, efficiency, being friendly to customers and speeding up service. The purpose of the meeting was to train, motivate and inspire the employees to put forth their best efforts and bring to that restaurant a trophy which is passed around monthly to the outstanding Burger Chef.

After the meeting was over and as the deceased, his brother Robert and two boys named Gilbert and Wilbert Baker were walking away, the manager called to 'Bobby' Wilson--the deceased's brother--but all four boys returned to the back door. The manager wanted to, and did, tell Robert to call him the next day--a Sunday--and he would inform him what hours he was to work the following week. The Baker boys returned with the Wilson brothers because in the past the manager had, on occasion, confused their names and they were not sure who he wanted.

The four boys and the manager stood in a closely knit group on the patio near the back door of the building talking--mainly about Burger Chef. They talked about the store itself, cleanliness, efficiency and speeding up the line.

While the group was still relatively close together Gilbert Baker displayed a loaded pistol which he had taken from his pocket. The manager took the weapon, and while in the process of unloading and reloading it a shot was accidentally fired fatally wounding Samuel L. Wilson, Jr., who was on the patio approximately ten to fifteen feet from the back door.

The time lapse between the manager adjourning the compulsory meeting and the accident was approximately five to ten minutes. At no time did the boys leave appellant's premises.

Appellant's sole assignment of error, that the award of the Full Industrial Board is contrary to law, is sufficient to present both the sufficiency of the facts found to sustain the award and the sufficiency of the evidence to sustain the finding of facts. Hunt v. Gutzwiller Baking Co.,104 Ind.App. 209, 9 N.E.2d 129 (1937); White v. Spencer Cardinal Corp.,106 Ind.App. 338, 19 N.E.2d 866 (1939).

In reviewing an award of the Full Industrial Board this court will not weigh the evidence. A finding of fact by the Board, when supported by competent evidence, is conclusive and an award based thereon will not be disturbed on appeal. Kariger Motors, Inc. v. Kariger, et al., 132 Ind.App. 85, 173 N.E.2d 916 (1961); Pittsburgh Testing Laboratories v. Kiel, 130 Ind.App. 598, 167 N.E.2d 604 (1960); Kiddie Knead Baking Co. v. Bolen, 106 Ind.App. 131, 17 N.E.2d 477 (1939). from Illinois Country Club v. Industrial was over, the deceased had his paycheck, had been told that he could leave, had left, and he was not called back, Samuel L. Wilson, Jr. was not in the course of his employment at the time of the fatal injury.

In support of its position appellant cites numerous cases, none of which are analogous on the facts, and, therefore, are not decisive of the issue presented in this appeal.

The Workmen's Compensation Act should be liberally construed. Judge Pfaff, speaking for this court in Indiana Toll Road Comm. v. Bartusch, 135 Ind.App. 123, at 127, 184 N.E.2d 34, at 36 (1963), (Transfer denied), stated:

'The words 'by accident arising out of and in the course of the employment,' as used in the Workmen's Compensation Act, * * * should be given a broad and liberal construction in order that the humane purpose of their enactment may be realized.' (Citing authorities.)

See also: Prater v. Indiana Briquetting Corporation, Ind., 251 N.E.2d 810 (1969); Marshall v. tribune-Star Publishing Co., Ind.App., 236 N.E.2d 508, 14 Ind.Dec. 184, (1968), (Transfer denied, 243 N.E.2d 761, 16 Ind.Dec. 378); United States Steel Corporation v. Brown, Ind.App., 231 N.E.2d 839, 12 Ind.Dec. 263 (1968), (Transfer denied).

However, the burden of establishing each fact necessary to support the award of the Board is upon the applicant. Inferences made from the established facts must be based on something more than mere conjecture, speculation, surmise or possibility. Prudential Life Insurance Co. of America v. Spears, 125 Ind.App. 21, 24, 118 N.E.2d 813 (1954), (Transfer denied): Rohlwing v. Wm. H. Block Company, 124 Ind.App. 97, 102, 115 N.E.2d 450 (1953); Mishawaka Rubber & Woolen Mfg. Co. v. Walker, 119 Ind.App. 309, 314, 84 N.E.2d 897 (1949), (Transfer denied).

Our Supreme Court in E. I. DuPont, etc. v. Lilly, 226 Ind. 267, at 271, 79 N.E.2d 387, at 388 (1948), adopted the following statement from Illinois County Club v. Industrial Com., 387 Ill. 484, at 488, 56 N.E.2d 786,...

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  • Miller v. Barrett, 1170A192
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • May 24, 1971
    ...Testing Laboratories v. Kiel, 130 Ind.App. 598, 167 N.E.2d 604 (1960). Appellant cites Burger Chef Systems, Inc., v. Wilson, Ind.App., 262 N.E.2d 660 (1970) and Kariger Motors v. Kariger, et al., 132 Ind.App. 85, 173 N.E.2d 916 (1961) as supporting the rule that accidents and injuries are s......
  • Crites v. Baker, 771A124
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    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • December 16, 1971
    ...810 (1969) and Marshall v. Tribune Star Publishing Co., Ind., 243 N.E.2d 761 (1968), Burger Chef Systems, Inc. v. Wilson, Ind.App., 262 N.E.2d 660 (1970) and Ind. Toll Road Commission v. Bartusch, 135 Ind.App. 123, 184 N.E.2d 34 (1963). It is also well-recognized that the words 'arising out......
  • K-Mart Corp. v. Novak, K-MART
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • April 27, 1988
    ...Blaw-Knox Foundry and Mill Machinery, Inc. v. Dacus (1987), Ind.App., 505 N.E.2d 101, 102; Burger Chef Systems, Inc. v. Wilson (1970), 147 Ind.App. 556, 558, 262 N.E.2d 660, 662. This court neither reweighs the evidence nor judges witness credibility as these are functions of the Board. Sea......
  • Donahue v. Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co., 385S83
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    ...of employment ordinarily is a question of fact to be determined by the Industrial Board. Burger Chef Systems, Inc., v. Wilson, (1970) 147 Ind.App. 556, 262 N.E.2d 660, see Calhoun v. Hillenbrand Industries, Inc., (1978) 269 Ind. 507, 381 N.E.2d 1242. In reviewing a negative award by the Ind......
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