Carroll v. Westport Sanitarium

Decision Date08 November 1944
Citation39 A.2d 892,131 Conn. 334
CourtConnecticut Supreme Court


Appeal from Superior Court, Fairfield County; McEvoy, Judge.

Proceeding under the Workmen's Compensation Act by Helen Carroll, claimant, opposed by Westport Sanitarium, employer, and another. From a judgment of the superior court dismissing an appeal from a finding and award of the Compensation Commissioner for the Fourth District in favor of the claimant and affirming the award, the named defendant appeals.

No error.

Adrian W. Maher, of Bridgeport, for appellant (named defendant).

Leslie N. Davis, of Norwalk, for appellee (plaintiff).


MALTBIE, Chief Justice.

This is an appeal from a decision of the Superior Court dismissing a appeal by the defendants from an award of workmen's compensation to the plaintiff. The material facts decisive of the issues before us, with certain minor corrections to which the defendants are entitled, are these: The plaintiff was employed as a general maid in the defendant sanitarium. It maintained a cottage on its property for the housing and sleeping accommodations of its employees.

It hired only such maids as would live on the premises. The plaintiff's hours of actual employment were from about 6:30 in the morning until 5:15 p.m. or later, but never later than 7 p.m. After the plaintiff had completed her work, her time was her own and she was at liberty to come and go as she pleased. On March 1, 1943, having finished her work for the day, she left the premises to visit her sister's home in a neighboring town. She had no work to do until 6:30 the next morning. On returning, she and her companion stopped in a restaurant for some refreshment, and then walked to and entered the grounds of the sanitarium. While walking along a path which led to the cottage maintained for its employees, she stepped on a clinker, fell and received the injuries for which she claimed compensation.

In Harivel v. Hall-Thompson Co., 98 Conn. 753, 120 A. 603, we had before us a case where the plaintiff, a traveling salesman who received in addition to his salary traveling expenses including hotel charges and who was required by his employment to stay in hotels in a certain city, was injured when attempting to escape at night from one of them which had caught fire; and we held that he was entitled to compensation. We said, at page 756 of 98 Conn., at page 604 of 120 A.: ‘If the salesman lodged and boarded on the premises of his employer, it would be conceded that his employment continued during this period. There can be no difference in principle between the furnishing of lodging and board by the employer upon his own premises or upon the premises of another. The hotel lodging furnished by the defendant to the claimant was its own for the time being, which it supplied to its salesman. The salesman was not, when injured, engaged upon the immediate duties of his employment, but he was doing something which was incidental to such employment. The servant in a household when asleep is not then engaged upon her employment, but she is doing something incident to it. Her employer provides her with means of rest and preparation for the next day's work. Whether he provides this in his home or in an adjoining hotel is immaterial. She is in his employ during the period of rest, whichever place it be passed in for her employment is a continuous one. Between the salesman whose lodging and board is paid for by the employer and the servant who is treated in the same way there is no substantial difference, except that in the extent of the time of work and in the intensity and quality of the work the work of the salesman ordinarily surpasses that of the servant.’ We further said, in holding that the injury arose out of the employment, at page 758 of 98 Conn., at page 605 of 120 A.: ‘The claimant while in this hotel room was then in the course of his empoyment. The conditions of that employment required him to lodge in this room at that time. The risk of injury to him from a fire in the hotel was one of the risks connected with the conditions of his employment.’

In Guiliano v. Daniel O'Connell's Sons, 105 Conn. 695, 136 A. 677, 56 A.L.R. 504, we had before us a situation where the employers, engaged in road construction work, rented a barn nearby in order to relieve the difficulty of their employees in securing lodgings and gave them the privilege of sleeping in it without charge; certain of the employees who had finished their work on Saturday afternoon and were under no obligation to report for further duty until the following Monday went to the barn to sleep; and during the night a fire broke out from which they suffered the injuries for which they sought compensation. We held that they were not entitled to it. We quoted, at page 703 of 105 Conn., at page 679 of 136 A., 56 A.L.R. 504, from the opinion in the Harivel case a part of the first passage quoted above, and added: ‘The continuousness of the employment made the case similar in principle to that of the house servant, the sailor, or the lumberman in a remote lumber camp. There is no continuity of employment in the case before us. These claimants were not required to lodge and board upon the employers' premises, but might come and go at their will.’ The opinion in the Guiliano case pointed out (105 Conn. at page 704, 136 A. at page 679, 56 A.L.R. 504) that the plaintiffs in living in the barn were not doing anything contemplated in their contract of employment; (105 Conn. at page 708, 136 A. at page 681, 56 A.L.R. 504) that the case was not like one where ‘the nature of the occupation and the order or provision of the employer, required [the employees] to live in a designated building’; but (at page 709 of 105 Conn., at page 681 of 136 A., 56 A.L.R. 504) that the plaintiffs were living in the barn at their own option, though with their employers' permission.

The opinion in the Guiliano case very clearly distinguishes between a situation where an employer merely extends to an employee the privilege of living in quarters the former furnishes and the employee has a free choice whether he will do so or not and one where the contract of hiring requires the employee to live upon the employer's premises. This distinction is applied or noted in Larson v. Industrial Accident Commission, 193 Cal. 406, 224 P. 744, where compensation was allowed; and in Matter of Pisko v. Mintz, 262 N.Y. 176, 178, 186 N.E. 434, 435; Guastelo v. Michigan Cent. R. Co., 194 Mich. 382, 387, 160 N.W. 484, L.R.A.1917D, 69; and Eckhardt v. Industrial Commission, 242 Wis. 325, 331,...

To continue reading

Request your trial
4 cases
  • Loyola University v. Industrial Commission
    • United States
    • Illinois Supreme Court
    • January 18, 1951
    ...429, 158 A.L.R. 603; Underhill v. Keener, 233 App.Div. 779, 250 N.Y.S. 819, affirmed 258 N.Y. 543, 180 N.E. 325; Carroll v. Westport Sanitarium, 131 Conn. 334, 39 A.2d 892; Doyle's Case, 256 Mass. 290, 152 N.E. 340; Wilson Cypress Co. v. Miller, 157 Fla. 459, 26 So.2d 441. Not all of these ......
  • Rauser v. Pitney Bowes, Inc.
    • United States
    • Connecticut Court of Appeals
    • June 11, 2019
    ...a business purpose but sustained injury after they later had returned to business activities. See, e.g., Carroll v. Westport Sanitarium , 131 Conn. 334, 339, 39 A.2d 892 (1944) ; Ohmen v. Adams Bros ., 109 Conn. 378, 385–86, 146 A. 825 (1929) ; and Carter v. Rowe , 92 Conn. 82, 85, 101 A. 4......
  • Davis v. University of Del.
    • United States
    • Delaware Superior Court
    • September 6, 1967
    ...required to live on the premises, his injuries while thereon are normally covered by the Compensation Act. Carroll v. Westport Sanitarium, 131 Conn. 334, 39 A.2d 892; Galvez v. Gold Coast Enterprises, 23 A.D.2d 600, 256 N.Y.S.2d 436. But, even though an employee is not expressly required to......
  • Davis v. University of Del.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Delaware
    • March 22, 1968 'bunk-house' rule typified by cases such as Allen v. D. D. Skousen Const. Co., 55 N.M. 1, 225 P.2d 452; Carroll v. Westport Sanitarium, 131 Conn. 334, 39 A.2d 892, and Bass v. Mecklenburg County, 258 N.C. 226, 128 S.E.2d The disposition of litigation by motion for summary judgment......

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