Consolidated Engineering Co. v. Feikin

Decision Date14 May 1947
Docket Number122.
Citation52 A.2d 913,188 Md. 420
PartiesCONSOLIDATED ENGINEERING CO. et al. v. FEIKIN.
CourtMaryland Court of Appeals

Appeal from Baltimore Court of Common Pleas; John T. Tucker, Judge.

Proceeding under the Workmen's Compensation Act by Louis Saunders claimant, opposed by the Consolidated Engineering Company employer, and the Maryland Casualty Company, insurer, to recover compensation for total disability. From an order of the State Industrial Accident Commission finding that claimant's disability was the result of an accidental injury arising out of and in course of employment, and awarding him compensation, the employer and insurer appealed to the Court of Common Pleas. Pending the appeal, the claimant died, and Bernard B. Feikin, administrator of the estate of Louis Saunders, deceased, claimant, was substituted in the claimant's place. From a judgment of the Court of Common Pleas on a verdict affirming the commission's decision, the employer and insurer appeal.

Judgment reversed and case remanded for a new trial.

Robert E. Coughlan, Jr., of Baltimore, for appellants.

Maurice J. Pressman, of Baltimore, for appellee.

Before MARBURY, C.J., and DELAPLAINE, COLLINS, GRASON, HENDERSON and MARKELL, JJ.

DELAPLAINE Judge.

On July 20, 1945, Louis Saunders, now deceased, an employee of Consolidated Engineering Company, contractor, was disabled by severe burns sustained in the hot strip mill of the Bethlehem Steel Company at Sparrows Point. On December 1, 1945, the State Industrial Accident Commission found that the employee's disability was the result of an accidental injury arising out of and in the course of his employment and awarded him workmen's compensation at the rate of $25 per week, payable during temporary total disability. From that order the employer and the Maryland Casualty Company, insurer, entered an appeal to the Court of Common Pleas of Baltimore City. On July 11, 1946, pending their appeal, the claimant died in the Crownsville State Hospital from posttraumatic epilepsy with psychosis. Bernard B. Feikin, administrator of his estate, was substituted in his place. At the close of appellants' case, the trial judge directed a verdict affirming the decision of the Commission. The employer and the insurer then appealed here from the judgment on the verdict.

It appears that in April, 1945, the claimant sustained an injury to his head, but not in the course of employment. From that time until June he was confined in a hospital. On Monday, July 16, 1945, he returned to the Consolidated's office, a shack on the steel company's property, and the Consolidated's superintendent, Jacob J. Wildman, gave him a job in the steel company's hot strip mill, a building measuring about 2,000 feet from one end to the other. Near the south entrance are the furnaces, from which molten steel is poured into sheets. These sheets are then thrown on huge rollers, which roll them to the desired thickness. The sheets are then cut into strips of different sizes, and the strips, while still hot, are stacked in the strip finishing department. Here an electric crane with large hooks picks up and carries the strips of steel in different directions. Next to the strip finishing department are two slab yards, to which the slabs of steel are hauled in cars operating on tracks. Opposite the slab yards are the office of the superintendent of the mill and toilets for the employees. At the north end of the building are the 'picklers,' where the steel strips are put through a process. All of the mill operations are obviously very dangerous. Throughout the entire length of the building yellow lines about 10 feet apart have been painted on the concrete floor to indicate pathways for the employees. The Consolidated's superintendent sent the claimant to Jack Moore, a labor foreman, who had charge of a gang of workmen cleaning debris in the north slab yard; but Moore, not needing him, sent him to Carroll Blair, another foreman, whose gang was working in the south slab yard.

The claimant worked all day on Monday, July 16, but did not appear on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. On Friday, the regular pay day, he appeared at the office to get his pay slip for one day's work. The laborers reported for work at 7:30 a. m., but the claimant, not intending to work that day, did not arrive until about 10 a. m. He was informed by the timekeeper that the superintendent had his pay slip. It was the custom of the superintendent to distribute the pay slips on Friday morning, and the workmen were required to come to the office for their wages between 3 and 4 o'clock in the afternoon. The claimant asked the timekeeper where his gang was working, and he replied that they were probably at the same place where he left them on Monday. At that moment the superintendent appeared, and handed the claimant his slip. The claimant told the superintendent: 'If I feel on Monday like I am feeling today, I will be back to work again.' Shortly afterwards the claimant went to the hot strip mill. About 11:45 a. m. he found Moore's gang at the north slab yard. He asked Moore where Blair's gang was working, and Moore replied that he supposed they were still working where they were on Monday.

About 12:30 p. m. the claimant was found lying in the pathway in the strip finishing department. No one saw him fall. He was near a lot of hot steel strips piled along the yellow lines. He was severely burned on his face, hands and other parts of his body. Carried to the steel company's clinic, he was given first aid by a physician at 12:40 p. m. He was attacked by a number of epileptic convulsions. He was then removed to the Maryland General Hospital in Baltimore, where he was a patient for seven weeks, during which period he tried several times to escape. His face was scarred, and his left hand was contracted as a result of the burns.

An injury to an employee 'arises out of' his employment within the meaning of the Maryland Workmen's Compensation Act, Code 1939, art. 101, § 14, when it results from some obligation, condition or incident of the employment. Whether an accident causing an injury to an employee resulted from some obligation, condition or incident of the employment depends upon the circumstances of each particular case. Spencer v. Chesapeake Paperboard Co., Md., 47 A.2d 385. An injury 'arises out of' employment when, after consideration of all the facts and circumstances of the case, it is apparent to the...

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4 cases
  • Elec. Gen. Corp. v. Labonte
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • July 27, 2016
    ...ensues from some hazard to which the workman would have been equally exposed apart from his employment. Consolidated Engineering Co. v. Feikin, 188 Md. 420, 425, 52 A.2d 913 [ (1947) ].Reeves, 204 Md. at 581–82, 105 A.2d 236. We hold that the evidence presented at trial was sufficient to sa......
  • Dunlap v. Clinton Valley Center
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan — District of US
    • July 18, 1988
    ...Ohio, 145 Ohio St. 66, 60 N.E.2d 660 (1945); Griffin v. Acme Coal Co., 161 Pa.Super. 28, 54 A.2d 69 (1947); Consolidated Engineering Co. v. Feikin, 188 Md. 420, 52 A.2d 913 (1947); Crane Co. v. Industrial Comm., 306 Ill. 56, 137 N.E. 437 (1922). Accord: 1A Larson's Workmen's Compensation La......
  • Pendergast v. Young
    • United States
    • Maryland Court of Appeals
    • May 14, 1947
  • Martinez v. Stoller
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of New Mexico
    • August 13, 1981
    ...Ohio, 145 Ohio St. 66, 60 N.E.2d 660 (1945); Griffin v. Acme Coal Co., 161 Pa.Super. 28, 54 A.2d 69 (1947); Consolidated Engineering Co. v. Feikin, 188 Md. 420, 52 A.2d 913 (1947); 1A Larson's Workmen's Compensation Law, § 26.30 At the time plaintiff received her check, she was in the cours......

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