Emmel v. State Compensation Director, No. 12479

CourtSupreme Court of West Virginia
Writing for the CourtCAPLAN; BROWNING
Citation150 W.Va. 277,145 S.E.2d 29
PartiesHarry D. EMMEL v. STATE COMPENSATION DIRECTOR, and Fesenmeier Brewing Co.
Decision Date16 November 1965
Docket NumberNo. 12479

Page 29

145 S.E.2d 29
150 W.Va. 277
Harry D. EMMEL
v.
STATE COMPENSATION DIRECTOR, and Fesenmeier Brewing Co.
No. 12479.
Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.
Submitted Sept. 29, 1965.
Decided Nov. 16, 1965.

Page 30

Syllabus by the Court

1. "An award of a claim cannot be made in a workmen's compensation case unless it is supported by satisfactory proof that [150 W.Va. 278] the workman sustained a personal injury in the course of and resulting from his employment.' Point 3, Syllabus, Hayes v. State Compensation Director, et al., 149 W.Va. 220 [140 S.E.2d 443].' Point 2, Syllabus, Deverick v. State Compensation Director, W.Va. [144 S.E.2d 498].

2. Whether an injury occurs in the course of and resulting from the employment so as to be compensable under the workmen's compensation act depends upon the particular facts in each case.

3. In determining whether an injury resulted from claimant's employment, a causal connection between the injury and employment must be shown to have existed.

4. An order of the workmen's compensation appeal board, approving an order of the state compensation commissioner, will be reversed by this Court on appeal, where the legal conclusions of the appeal board are erroneous.

George A. Fesenmeier, Huntington, for appellant.

Page 31

Barrett & Chafin, James F. Barrett, Huntington, for appellee.

CAPLAN, Judge:

The claimant, Harry D. Emmel, an employee of Fesenmeier Brewing Company, while on the latter's premises, sustained an injury which resulted in his hospitalization. This injury occurred on November 15, 1962 and on May 29, 1963 the claimant filed an application for workmen's compensation. On July 9, 1963 the then director ruled that the claim was noncompensable, whereupon the claimant protested and hearings were conducted. Thereafter, on December 8, 1964, the director entered an order setting aside his previous ruling and declared this claim to be compensable. [150 W.Va. 279] The latter ruling of the director was affirmed by the workmen's compensation appeal board and the employer prosecutes this appeal.

An examination of the record of this proceeding reveals that the claimant, on November 15, 1962, was employed by the Fesenmeier Brewing Company is its bottling house where he assisted in the bottle washing operation. He completed that day's work at 2:30 P.M. and officially checked out on the time clock. At that time, instead of leaving his employer's premises, he chose to go into the taproom, where he engaged with other employees in drinking beer.

The taproom is located on the premises of the employer and is maintained by it for its customers, employees and guests. Employees are permitted to use the taproom during their lunch period and after working hours, during which times they are served beer free of charge. Also they are allowed a 'beer break' each hour, when free beer is available if it is desired. Mr. John Kearney, a vice president of the employer company, testified that the taproom is like a clubroom maintained for the benefit of employees and visistors and that free beer is extra compensation for the employees; that it has been maintained as such since 1934; and that the operation of the taproom is company policy. Several employees testified that it was customary for most of the men who worked at the brewery to go to the taproom at the end of their shifts and drink berr. Although it was a company rule that they were to remain there for no more than half an hour, most of them ordinarily stayed until the taproom closed at 5:00 P.M.

After the claimant had been in the taproom for approximately two hours he expressed a desire to retire to the restroom and left the table for that purpose. As soon as he left the room his friends heard a dull thud in the hallway and hurried out to see what had happened. There they found the claimant on the floor in an unconscious condition. It was apparent that he had fallen and had struck his head on the concrete floor. There were no obstacles in that area which could have caused such a fall and no one could testify as to the reason therefor.

[150 W.Va. 280] The claimant's companions attempted to render assistance, after which an ambulance was summoned and he was taken to the Cabell-Huntington Hospital. Before he received any treatment he insisted that his wife take him home, which she finally consented to do. However, later that night the claimant began to suffer extreme pain in his head and he was taken to the St. Mary's Hospital, where his wife was advised that he should be taken to a brain specialist in Charleston. He was later examined at Charleston Memorial Hospital and then returned to St. Mary's Hospital in Huntington where he remained for a week. The claimant was then admitted to the Veterans Administration Hospital where it was discovered that he had a fractured skull. He stayed at this hospital from December 7, 1962 until May 5, 1963, after which he was taken to the Morris Memorial Nursing Home in Milton, West Virginia. He was still at this home during the proceedings before the director. The claimant is mentally incompetent and his wife has been appointed his committee by the County Court of Cabell County.

Page 32

The claimant's wife testified that prior to this occurrence the claimant had not been subject to fainting spells nor had he had any mental problem. She did say that he drank quite a bit and that she was told...

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30 practice notes
  • Staubs v. State Workmen's Compensation Commissioner, No. 12819
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 15 Julio 1969
    ...from his employment. Bilchak v. State Workmen's Compensation Commissioner, W.Va., 168 S.E.2d 723; Emmel v. State Compensation Director, 150 W.Va. 277, 145 S.E.2d 29; Deverick v. State Compensation Director, 150 W.Va. 145, 144 S.E.2d 498; Hayes v. State Compensation Director, 149 W.Va. 220, ......
  • Martin v. Workers Compensation Div., No. 28516.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 30 Noviembre 2001
    ...v. State Workmen's Compensation Com'r., 153 W.Va. 796, 812, 172 S.E.2d 698, 707 (1970) (quoting Emmel v. State Compensation Director, 150 W.Va. 277, 145 S.E.2d 29 Also, we note that: "When the Workers' Compensation Appeal Board reviews a ruling from the Workers' Compensation Office of Judge......
  • Hammons v. W. Va. Office of the Ins. Comm'r, Nos. 12–1473
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 20 Mayo 2015
    ...Bowers v. West Virginia Office of the Ins. Comm'r, 224 W.Va. 398, 686 S.E.2d 49 (2009). See also Syl. pt. 4, Emmel v. State Comp. Dir., 150 W.Va. 277, 145 S.E.2d 29 (1965) (“An order of the workmen's compensation appeal board, approving an order of the state compensation commissioner, will ......
  • Repass v. WORKERS'COMPENSATION DIV., No. 27730
    • United States
    • West Virginia Supreme Court
    • 28 Junio 2002
    ...v. State Workmen's Compensation Com'r., 153 W.Va. 796, 812, 172 S.E.2d 698, 707 (1970) (quoting Emmel v. State Compensation Director, 150 W.Va. 277, 145 S.E.2d 29 (1965)). We must also bear in mind that: "When the Workers' Compensation Appeal Board reviews a ruling from the Workers' Compens......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
30 cases
  • Staubs v. State Workmen's Compensation Commissioner, No. 12819
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 15 Julio 1969
    ...from his employment. Bilchak v. State Workmen's Compensation Commissioner, W.Va., 168 S.E.2d 723; Emmel v. State Compensation Director, 150 W.Va. 277, 145 S.E.2d 29; Deverick v. State Compensation Director, 150 W.Va. 145, 144 S.E.2d 498; Hayes v. State Compensation Director, 149 W.Va. 220, ......
  • Martin v. Workers Compensation Div., No. 28516.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 30 Noviembre 2001
    ...v. State Workmen's Compensation Com'r., 153 W.Va. 796, 812, 172 S.E.2d 698, 707 (1970) (quoting Emmel v. State Compensation Director, 150 W.Va. 277, 145 S.E.2d 29 Also, we note that: "When the Workers' Compensation Appeal Board reviews a ruling from the Workers' Compensation Office of Judge......
  • Hammons v. W. Va. Office of the Ins. Comm'r, Nos. 12–1473
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 20 Mayo 2015
    ...Bowers v. West Virginia Office of the Ins. Comm'r, 224 W.Va. 398, 686 S.E.2d 49 (2009). See also Syl. pt. 4, Emmel v. State Comp. Dir., 150 W.Va. 277, 145 S.E.2d 29 (1965) (“An order of the workmen's compensation appeal board, approving an order of the state compensation commissioner, will ......
  • Repass v. WORKERS'COMPENSATION DIV., No. 27730
    • United States
    • West Virginia Supreme Court
    • 28 Junio 2002
    ...v. State Workmen's Compensation Com'r., 153 W.Va. 796, 812, 172 S.E.2d 698, 707 (1970) (quoting Emmel v. State Compensation Director, 150 W.Va. 277, 145 S.E.2d 29 (1965)). We must also bear in mind that: "When the Workers' Compensation Appeal Board reviews a ruling from the Workers' Compens......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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