Edens v. New Mexico Health and Social Services Dept., No. 10512

Docket NºNo. 10512
Citation89 N.M. 60, 1976 NMSC 8, 547 P.2d 65
Case DateMarch 16, 1976
CourtSupreme Court of New Mexico

Page 65

547 P.2d 65
89 N.M. 60
Boyce D. EDENS, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
NEW MEXICO HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT, a
Department of the State of New Mexico, Employer,
and Mountain States Mutual Casualty
Company, a corporation,
Insurer,
Defendants-A
No. 10512.
Supreme Court of New Mexico.
March 16, 1976.

[89 NM 60] David W. Bonem, Clovis, Scott H. Mabry, David F. Boyd, Jr., Albuquerque, for plaintiff-appellant.

Modrall, Sperling, Roehl, Harris & Sisk, James A. Parker, Judy A. Fry, Albuquerque, for defendants-appellees.

Page 66

[89 NM 61] OPINION

MONTOYA, Justice.

This appeal arises from a denial of a claim under the Workmen's Compensation Act. Plaintiff is the surviving spouse of Betty Jean Edens (Edens) who was fatally injured in a car accident in Albuquerque. At the time of the accident, Edens was employed in Albuquerque by defendant New Mexico Health and Social Services Department (HSSD).

The Bernalillo County District Court denied all relief sought under the Workmen's Compensation Act, §§ 59--10--1 to 37, N.M.S.A., 1953 (2d Repl. Vol. 9, Pt. 1, 1974). The judgment of the District Court was affirmed by the Court of Appeals in Edens v. New Mexico Health & Social Serv. Dept., 88 N.M. 366, 540 P.2d 846 (Ct.App.1975). We granted certiorari.

At the time of the accident, Edens was employed by defendant HSSD as Director of its Bernalillo County North Valley Office in Albuquerque. The deceased and three other employees from Bernalillo County were ordered by the defendant-employer to attend a special two-day HSSD meeting in Santa Fe on October 3--4, 1973. They were requested by their respective supervisors to form a car pool and to return overnight to Albuquerque between the two sessions in order to save fuel and reduce travel costs. Consequently, on the morning of October 3, 1973, Edens and the three other employees met at the Gulf Mart parking lot on San Mateo Boulevard in Albuquerque and proceeded as a group to Santa Fe in Edens' car. At the close of the first day's session, the four returned to the Gulf Mart parking lot. After discharging her three colleagues from her car, Edens drove out of the parking lot and immediately thereafter was involved in the accident which resulted in her death.

Plaintiff-appellant contests the three findings of fact by the trial court, that (1) Edens had completed all the duties of her employment before the accident; (2) she was not performing any duties of her employment and was not acting within the scope and course of her employment at the time of the accident; and (3) the accident did not arise out of, nor was it incidental to, her employment.

The defendants-appellees, on the other hand, contend that the findings of the trial court are supported by substantial evidence. They contend that this case comes within the longstanding 'going and coming' rule which precludes compensation for injuries sustained on the way to work and on the way home from work.

The pertinent provisions of the Workmen's Compensation Act are §§ 59--10--2 and 59--10--12.12, supra, which declare in part:

(§ 59--10--2)

'The state * * * shall become liable to, and shall pay to any * * * workman injured by accident arising out of and in the course of his employment (with the state) * * * and, in case of his death being occasioned thereby, to such person as may be appointed by the court to receive the same for the benefit of his dependents, compensation in the manner and amount, at the times herein required.' (Emphasis added.)

(§ 59--10--12.12)

'As used in the Workmen's Compensation Act (59--10--1 to 59--10--37), unless the context otherwise requires, the words 'injuries sustained in extra-hazardous occupations or pursuit' shall include death resulting from injury, and injuries to workmen, as a result of their employment and while at work in or about the premises occupied, used or controlled by the employer, and injuries occurring elsewhere while at work in any place where their employer's business requires their presence and subjects them to extrahazardous duties incident to the business, but shall not include injuries to any workman occurring while on his way to assume the duties of his employment or after leaving such duties, the approximate cause of which injury...

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41 practice notes
  • Wagner v. AGW CONSULTANTS, No. 28,348.
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court of New Mexico
    • May 24, 2005
    ...be and is engaged in doing something incidental to fulfilling the duties of his employment. Edens v. N.M. Health & Social Servs. Dep't, 89 N.M. 60, 63, 547 P.2d 65, 68 (1976). Similarly, an injury arises out of employment if it is a risk "to which the worker is subjected in the employment."......
  • State ex rel. Martinez v. Lewis, No. 11718
    • United States
    • New Mexico Court of Appeals of New Mexico
    • May 12, 1993
    ...of law is itself a legal issue upon which we are free to make our own determination. Edens v. New Mexico Health & Social Servs. Dep't, 89 N.M. 60, 62, 547 P.2d 65, 67 Thus, in this case, we may accept all of the trial court's findings of fact regarding what actually happened between 1852 an......
  • Calvo v. Montgomery Cnty., No. 48, Sept. Term, 2017
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • May 21, 2018
    ...(La. 2003) (employee attending an off-site mandatory safety meeting after work hours); Edens v. New Mexico Health & Soc. Servs. Dep't , 89 N.M. 60, 547 P.2d 65, 68 (1976) (employees required to attend special meeting in other city); Brown , 569 S.E.2d at 203 (employee required to attend tra......
  • 1999 -NMSC- 10, State v. Torres, No. 23334
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court of New Mexico
    • February 15, 1999
    ...standard entails a conclusion of law that is subject to de novo review. Cf. Edens v. New Mexico Health & Soc. Servs. Dep't, 89 N.M. 60, 62, 547 P.2d 65, 67 (1976) ("[C]onclusions of law are freely Page 30 2. Novelty of scientific knowledge ¶29 In making the initial determination of whether ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
41 cases
  • Wagner v. AGW CONSULTANTS, No. 28,348.
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court of New Mexico
    • May 24, 2005
    ...be and is engaged in doing something incidental to fulfilling the duties of his employment. Edens v. N.M. Health & Social Servs. Dep't, 89 N.M. 60, 63, 547 P.2d 65, 68 (1976). Similarly, an injury arises out of employment if it is a risk "to which the worker is subjected in the employment."......
  • State ex rel. Martinez v. Lewis, No. 11718
    • United States
    • New Mexico Court of Appeals of New Mexico
    • May 12, 1993
    ...of law is itself a legal issue upon which we are free to make our own determination. Edens v. New Mexico Health & Social Servs. Dep't, 89 N.M. 60, 62, 547 P.2d 65, 67 Thus, in this case, we may accept all of the trial court's findings of fact regarding what actually happened between 1852 an......
  • Calvo v. Montgomery Cnty., No. 48, Sept. Term, 2017
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • May 21, 2018
    ...(La. 2003) (employee attending an off-site mandatory safety meeting after work hours); Edens v. New Mexico Health & Soc. Servs. Dep't , 89 N.M. 60, 547 P.2d 65, 68 (1976) (employees required to attend special meeting in other city); Brown , 569 S.E.2d at 203 (employee required to attend tra......
  • 1999 -NMSC- 10, State v. Torres, No. 23334
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court of New Mexico
    • February 15, 1999
    ...standard entails a conclusion of law that is subject to de novo review. Cf. Edens v. New Mexico Health & Soc. Servs. Dep't, 89 N.M. 60, 62, 547 P.2d 65, 67 (1976) ("[C]onclusions of law are freely Page 30 2. Novelty of scientific knowledge ¶29 In making the initial determination of whether ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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