Feltner v. Southern Bell Tel. & Tel. Co., No. 42470

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida
Writing for the CourtERVIN; CARLTON; McCAIN
Citation274 So.2d 530
PartiesMarcia K. FELTNER, Petitioner, v. SOUTHERN BELL TELEPHONE & TELEGRAPH COMPANY and the Industrial RelationsCommission, Respondents.
Decision Date07 March 1973
Docket NumberNo. 42470

Page 530

274 So.2d 530
Marcia K. FELTNER, Petitioner,
v.
SOUTHERN BELL TELEPHONE & TELEGRAPH COMPANY and the Industrial RelationsCommission, Respondents.
No. 42470.
Supreme Court of Florida.
March 7, 1973.

Page 531

Lloyd W. Jabara of Jabara & Richard, Miami, for petitioner.

Eugene L. Heinrich, of McCune, Hiaasen, Crum, Ferris & Gardner, Ft. Lauderdale, and Kenneth H. Hart, Jr., Tallahassee, for respondents.

ERVIN, Justice.

This cause is before us on petition for writ of certiorari to review a decision of the Industrial Relations Commission which sustained a decision of the Judge of Industrial Claims.

Petitioner-claimant is the widow of the deceased employee, Robert M. Feltner, Jr., who was employed as a switchmen for the Southern Bell Telephone & Telegraph Company (hereinafter referred to as Southern Bell). His duties included the maintenance of telephone switching equipment and his normal working hours were from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. at the employer's central office. Equipment malfunction was not limited to these hours, however, and for this reason Felton, and other members of his six-man switching group, often received a 'call-out' after they returned home in the evening. The employer maintained a list whereon each member of the switching group appeared in an order dependent upon the amount of overtime he had worked during the immediately preceding period. When a breakdown occurred, the switching foreman would contact the employee with the least accumulated overtime and request him to report to the site of the malfunction, which was usually the central of office location. 1

On the evening of February 9, 1970, at approximately 8:45 P.M., Feltner was at home, having completed his regular workshift that day at 5:00 P.M., when he received a call-out from his foreman. He was asked to report to the central office and correct an equipment malfunction. Approximately fifteen minutes later, while driving his own vehicle over the most direct route to the employer's place of business, Feltner was involved in a fatal automobile accident.

The issue before the Judge of Industrial Claims and, in turn, the Industrial Relations Commission, was whether the accidental death arose out of and in the course of employment. See § 44.02(6), F.S.A. The Judge of Industrial Claims apparently relied heavily on testimony presented by Southern Bell's foreman in finding as a

Page 532

fact that the decedent was not 'required' to accept an overtime call-out:

'Neither decedent nor any other member of the group was required to 'on-call' while off duty or required to 'report in', advise as to his whereabouts or to give any reason for refusing to accept an overtime 'call-out'.'

The Industrial Relations Commission quoted the above language in its order and likewise denied the claimant compensation. The Commission reasoned that since the decedent was not 'on-call,' he was not excepted from the exclusionary 'going and coming' rule which denies compensation for injuries received while traveling to and from one's place of employment. See, e.g., Fidelity & Casualty Co. of N.Y. v. Moore, 143 Fla. 103, 196...

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5 practice notes
  • Eady v. Medical Personnel Pool, No. 53417
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • November 29, 1979
    ...Special errands often arise in the context of an afterhours call from the employer. See Feltner v. Southern Bell Tel. & Tel. Co., 274 So.2d 530 (Fla.1973). As a practical matter, the irregularity and suddenness of a call from the employer will almost always qualify it as a special erran......
  • Freeman v. Manpower, Inc., No. AU-290
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • July 25, 1984
    ...Special errands often arise in the context of an afterhours call from the employer. See Feltner v. Southern Bell Tel. & Tel. Co., 274 So.2d 530 (Fla.1973). As a practical matter, the irregularity and suddenness of a call from the employer will almost always qualify it as a special erran......
  • Gray v. Dade County School Bd., No. AN-215
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • June 7, 1983
    ...not apply to employees on special errands or missions for the employer. Eady; Feltner v. Southern Bell Telephone & Telegraph Co., 274 So.2d 530 (Fla.1973); Moody v. Baxley, 158 Fla. 357, 28 So.2d 325 (1946). The special errand exception owes its validity to the principle that the journe......
  • Mathias v. City of South Daytona, No. 49827
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • July 21, 1977
    ...to bring this case within the purview of the rationale stated in Fletner v. Southern Bell Telephone & Telegraph Co., 274 So.2d 530 (Fla.1973). In that case which involved an employee who had the right to refuse overtime, Justice Ervin Although neither administrative tribunal makes speci......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
5 cases
  • Eady v. Medical Personnel Pool, No. 53417
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • November 29, 1979
    ...Special errands often arise in the context of an afterhours call from the employer. See Feltner v. Southern Bell Tel. & Tel. Co., 274 So.2d 530 (Fla.1973). As a practical matter, the irregularity and suddenness of a call from the employer will almost always qualify it as a special erran......
  • Freeman v. Manpower, Inc., No. AU-290
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • July 25, 1984
    ...Special errands often arise in the context of an afterhours call from the employer. See Feltner v. Southern Bell Tel. & Tel. Co., 274 So.2d 530 (Fla.1973). As a practical matter, the irregularity and suddenness of a call from the employer will almost always qualify it as a special erran......
  • Gray v. Dade County School Bd., No. AN-215
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • June 7, 1983
    ...not apply to employees on special errands or missions for the employer. Eady; Feltner v. Southern Bell Telephone & Telegraph Co., 274 So.2d 530 (Fla.1973); Moody v. Baxley, 158 Fla. 357, 28 So.2d 325 (1946). The special errand exception owes its validity to the principle that the journe......
  • Mathias v. City of South Daytona, No. 49827
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • July 21, 1977
    ...to bring this case within the purview of the rationale stated in Fletner v. Southern Bell Telephone & Telegraph Co., 274 So.2d 530 (Fla.1973). In that case which involved an employee who had the right to refuse overtime, Justice Ervin Although neither administrative tribunal makes speci......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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