Davis v. Webster, No. 20022

Docket NºNo. 2
Citation136 Ind.App. 286, 198 N.E.2d 883
Case DateJune 04, 1964

Page 883

198 N.E.2d 883
136 Ind.App. 286
Willie Mae DAVIS, Appellant,
v.
Ernest WEBSTER and Auto Owners Insurance Company, Appellees.
No. 20022.
Appellate Court of Indiana, Division No. 2.
June 4, 1964.
Rehearing Denied July 27, 1964.

[136 Ind.App. 288]

Page 884

Worth N. Yoder, Elkhart, for appellant.

D. Russell Bontrager, Bontrager & Spahn, Elkhart, for appellees.

HUNTER, Chief Justice.

This matter is a review of proceedings under the Workmen's Compensation Act brought by the appellant before the Industrial Board of Indiana, seeking a compensation award by reason of injuries[136 Ind.App. 289] arising out of and in the course of decedent's employment, which injuries resulted in the death of decedent. The appellant was the decedent's common-law wife.

The cause was submitted for hearing before a single member of the Board, who found that the decedent, Marion F. Davis, died as the result of an accidental injury while performing services in a joint adventure with the appellee; and that at the time of said accident and injury no relationship of employer and employee existed between the appellant's decedent and the appellee. The single member also found that the decedent was survived by one dependent: the appellant, who was his common-law wife, said relationship having existed for more than five years prior to said death. The order was that the appellant take nothing by her application. Upon review by the full Industrial Board, the Board made the same findings and entered the same order as had been recommended by the single member.

The questions presented in this matter are whether the Industrial Board was correct in finding that at the time of the death of the applicant's decedent (1) that Davis and the appellee Webster were engaged in a 'joint adventure', and (2) that there was no employer-employee relationship existing between the appellant Davis and the appellee Webster. The appellee Auto Owners

Page 885

Insurance Company was made a defendant by reason of being the appellee Webster's compensation insurance carrier.

The appellant's argument may be briefly stated as follows, that since the Board's findings are based on the appellee's motion for a finding on appellant's evidence, the Board was bound to:

[136 Ind.App. 290] (1) consider only the evidence tending to sustain the appellant's application;

(2) consider as true all facts which the evidence tends to prove or of which there is any evidence, however, slight;

(3) draw from the evidence all inferences which were favorable to the appellant; and

(4) find against appellees on their motion for a finding on appellant's evidence if there was any evidence from which it could be reasonably inferred that appellant was entitled to relief.

It appears to us that the appellant has mistaken the function of this court in the matter of judicial review of the orders of the Industrial Board in that the appellant is requesting this court to apply the rules which would apply if this were an appeal from a judgment of a trial court in an ordinary civil action under the usual civil procedure, but this is not such an action.

The Industrial Board of Indiana is an administrative body and not a court. Rhoden et al. v. Smith, etc. Elec. Co. (1939), 107 Ind.App. 152, 23 N.E.2d 306. We think the rule to be well settled that the Industrial Board is not bound by the rules of court procedure. It has a procedure of its own and the Board borrows nothing by implication from the civil code or the common law. We believe it to be well settled that the Board may prescribe its own procedures which may be summary in nature and should be as simple and informal as possible. Terre Haute Paper Co. v. Price (1943), 113 Ind.App. 578, 47 N.E.2d 166.

It is immaterial to the Board's findings of fact whether the evidence was presented solely by the appellant if such evidence or reasonable inferences to be drawn therefrom sustain the Board's findings. The appellee was not required to present [136 Ind.App. 291] evidence before the Board if the appellee did not deem it necessary to the defense of the claim.

Quite often proceedings in this court which challenge the correctness of the findings and orders of administrative bodies are designated and referred to as appeals, however such proceedings are in fact not civil appeals in the ordinary sense of the word, but rather are judicial reviews of the findings and orders of an administrative agency. In such a case, the finding of the administrative agency is conclusive and binding as to all conclusions of fact if such findings are premised upon evidence or reasonable inferences to be drawn therefrom. In determining the correctness of the finding of the Industrial Board this court must accept only the evidence most favorable to the appellee. Collins v. Evansville State Hospital (1963), Ind.App., 189 N.E.2d 106; Glacier Peat Moss Company v. Brackins et al. (1959), (Transfer denied 1960), 131 Ind.App. 279, 157 N.E.2d 297.

Further, the rule is well established that the Appellate Court may not reverse the finding of the Industrial Board unless the evidence and all reasonable inferences to be based thereon are of such a conclusive nature as to force a contrary decision. Collins v. Evansville State Hospital, supra; Glacier Peat Moss Company v. Brackins et al., supra; Heflin v. Red Front Cash & Carry Stores, Inc. (1947), 225 Ind. 517, 75 N.E.2d 662.

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20 practice notes
  • Bohn Aluminum & Brass Co., Plant No. 9 v. Kinney, No. 2--772A28
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • 1 Agosto 1974
    ...v. Goody, Goody Products Co. (1945), 116 Ind.App. 181, 63 N.E.2d 147; Stanley v. Riggs Equipment Co., supra; Davis v. Webster, (1964), 136 Ind.App. 286, 198 N.E.2d ISSUE FOUR. CONCLUSION--The Supplemental Findings of Specific Fact made by the Board were in conformity with IC 1971, [161 Ind.......
  • Duncan v. George Moser Leather Co., No. 2-479A112
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • 28 Agosto 1980
    ...the same token the right to disbelieve such evidence as it does not find worthy. . . ." Finally, the opinion in Davis v. Webster, (1964) 136 Ind.App. 286, 292, 198 N.E.2d 883, 886, includes this well established Page 1340 "Before there can be a reversal of a negative award on the evidence, ......
  • DeMichaeli and Associates v. Sanders, No. 2--474A89
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • 28 Enero 1976
    ...Mfg. Co. (1973), Ind.App., 302 N.E.2d 852; Lincoln v. Whirlpool Corp. (1972), 151 Ind.App. 190, 279 N.E.2d 596; Davis v. Webster (1964), 136 Ind.App. 286, 198 N.E.2d 883; Warren v. Indiana Telephone Co. (1940), 217 Ind. 93, 26 N.E.2d 399. Also See, 28 Indiana Digest, supra, k1939; Small, su......
  • Board of Com'rs of Henry County v. Dudley, No. 2--774A164
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • 29 Enero 1976
    ...324 N.E.2d 500 (and cases cited therein); Smith v. Graver Tank & Mfg. Co. (1973), Ind.App., 302 N.E.2d 852; Davis v. Webster (1964), 136 Ind.App. 286, 198 N.E.2d 883; Warren v. Indiana Telephone Company (1940), 217 Ind. 93, 26 N.E.2d Price v. Reed (1943), 114 Ind.App. 253, 51 N.E.2d 86 stat......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
20 cases
  • Bohn Aluminum & Brass Co., Plant No. 9 v. Kinney, No. 2--772A28
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • 1 Agosto 1974
    ...v. Goody, Goody Products Co. (1945), 116 Ind.App. 181, 63 N.E.2d 147; Stanley v. Riggs Equipment Co., supra; Davis v. Webster, (1964), 136 Ind.App. 286, 198 N.E.2d ISSUE FOUR. CONCLUSION--The Supplemental Findings of Specific Fact made by the Board were in conformity with IC 1971, [161 Ind.......
  • Duncan v. George Moser Leather Co., No. 2-479A112
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • 28 Agosto 1980
    ...the same token the right to disbelieve such evidence as it does not find worthy. . . ." Finally, the opinion in Davis v. Webster, (1964) 136 Ind.App. 286, 292, 198 N.E.2d 883, 886, includes this well established Page 1340 "Before there can be a reversal of a negative award on the evidence, ......
  • DeMichaeli and Associates v. Sanders, No. 2--474A89
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • 28 Enero 1976
    ...Mfg. Co. (1973), Ind.App., 302 N.E.2d 852; Lincoln v. Whirlpool Corp. (1972), 151 Ind.App. 190, 279 N.E.2d 596; Davis v. Webster (1964), 136 Ind.App. 286, 198 N.E.2d 883; Warren v. Indiana Telephone Co. (1940), 217 Ind. 93, 26 N.E.2d 399. Also See, 28 Indiana Digest, supra, k1939; Small, su......
  • Board of Com'rs of Henry County v. Dudley, No. 2--774A164
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • 29 Enero 1976
    ...324 N.E.2d 500 (and cases cited therein); Smith v. Graver Tank & Mfg. Co. (1973), Ind.App., 302 N.E.2d 852; Davis v. Webster (1964), 136 Ind.App. 286, 198 N.E.2d 883; Warren v. Indiana Telephone Company (1940), 217 Ind. 93, 26 N.E.2d Price v. Reed (1943), 114 Ind.App. 253, 51 N.E.2d 86 stat......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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