Guidry v. New Amsterdam Casualty Co., Civ. A. No. 4511.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Louisiana)
Writing for the CourtCHRISTENBERRY
Citation148 F. Supp. 248
Docket NumberCiv. A. No. 4511.
Decision Date13 December 1956

148 F. Supp. 248


Civ. A. No. 4511.

United States District Court E. D. Louisiana, New Orleans Division.

December 13, 1956.

148 F. Supp. 249

Rittenberg, Weinstein & Bronfin, Robert Weinstein and Henry Yoder, New Orleans, La., for plaintiff.

Henriques & Mayo, Harry M. Mayo, Jr., Stanley E. Loeb, New Orleans, La., for defendant.


This is a proceeding under the Louisiana Workmen's Compensation Statute.1

The plaintiff, Lena Guidry, alleged in her complaint that she was regularly employed by the Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital in New Orleans as a nurse's aide, and while so employed sustained injuries

148 F. Supp. 250
to her right arm in two accidents: the first when she slipped on a wet floor in the utility room of the hospital, and the second while she was assisting a patient who was recovering from anaesthetics administered during surgery, referred to in the testimony as reacting a patient, both injuries resulting in permanent and total disability. She further alleged that her work as a nurse's aide required her to react, move, bathe and lift patients, and that this was in the regular business of the employer. During the trial of the matter, evidence was adduced in an attempt to establish the hazardous nature of her work; that she was regularly required to be in proximity to oxygen and explosive anaesthetics; that she was required to operate a dumbwaiter, and that she was required to be around electrical machinery in the kitchen of the hospital, all as a part of her duties and the regular business of the hospital

The business of operating a hospital is not found among those businesses designated as hazardous in the Workmen's Compensation Statute.

Nor does it appear that it has been so determined by agreement between the employee and employer in this case, or by prior submission and decision of any Court.

In applying the provisions of the statute to cases where employees are injured in performing services in a business not specifically designated as hazardous, the inquiry is always whether or not the duties of the injured employee required him to perform services of a hazardous nature incidental to his employment and directly associated with his employer's business. Brownfield v. Southern Amusement Co., Inc., 1940, 196 La. 73, 198 So. 656; Hammer v. Lazarone, La.App. 2 Cir., 1956, 87 So.2d 765. Where an employee performs services in both the hazardous and non-hazardous features of his employer's business and is injured while performing services in the latter category, he is entitled to compensation, provided the employee's connection with the hazardous features of the employer's business is a major or material portion of his duties, and not merely occasional. Byas v. Hotel Bentley, Inc., 1925, 157 La. 1030, 103 So. 303; Brownfield v. Southern Amusement Co., Inc., supra.

The first feature of the employee's services which it is contended by the plaintiff rendered a major or material portion of her occupation "hazardous" was her proximity to oxygen and explosive anaesthetics.

It is virtually undisputed that all seven of the operating rooms of the hospital are located on the third floor, the same floor as the employee's duty area. Generally the building consists of an original structure and a recent addition of about the same size and area. The main hallway of the third floor of the original structure connects with the main hallway of the addition, and separating the old and new structures is a firewall. A double set of swinging doors is situated in this hallway where the firewall runs through the building. The original half of the third floor was used as a general ward for patients. The new half of that floor has seven operating rooms adjoining the main hallway, and each operating room is entered by a double set of swinging doors. In addition, there is another double set of swinging doors in the main hallway separating the area of the operating rooms from the remainder of that floor. Mrs. Guidry worked generally among the patients in the ward area under the supervision of a nurse in charge of the ward whose desk was in that area. A dumbwaiter and passenger elevator were located in the main hallway between the firewall and the doors entering into the operating area. In the operating rooms were used anaesthetics, particularly, cyclo propane, ether,...

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4 cases
  • Hymel v. Employers Liability Assur. Corp., Ltd., of Great Britain
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Louisiana (US)
    • June 16, 1959
    ...Statute was without legal application. Further authority to this effect is found in Guidry v. New Amsterdam Casualty Co., D.C.1958, 148 F.Supp. 248, affirmed, 5 Cir., 252 F.2d 233. Therein Judge Christenberry, in discussing the application of the Louisiana statute, 'Cake slicers, food mixer......
  • Guidry v. New Amsterdam Casualty Company, 16664.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • January 30, 1958
    ...jurisdiction over the employer in a civil case. The decision of the court shall not be retroactive in its effect." 2 Guidry v. New Amsterdam Cas. Co., 148 F.Supp. 248. 3 Schneider, Workmen's Compensation Law, Vol. 2, Chapt. 11, "Hazardous Employments", Sec. 396 to ...
  • Boggs v. Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., 160
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Louisiana (US)
    • December 19, 1960
    ...his employment so as to make it hazardous within the meaning of the law.' In the case of Guidry v. New Amsterdam Casualty Co., D.C.1956, 148 F.Supp. 248, 250, the plaintiff, a nurse's aid in a hospital, was occasionally required to operate a dumb waiter. Judge Christenberry of the United St......
  • Jackson v. Clifford
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Louisiana (US)
    • January 6, 1964 a nurse's aide, she could not recover under the Compensation Law. LSA-R.S. 23:1035; Guidry v. New Amsterdam Casualty Company, D.C., 148 F.Supp. 248, Id., 5 cir., 252 F.2d 233; Hymel v. Employers Liability Assurance Corporation, Ltd., of Great Britian, La.App., 113 So.2d Plaintiffs furthe......

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