Harding v. State Comp. Com'r, 7908.

CourtSupreme Court of West Virginia
Writing for the CourtHATCHER
Citation174 S.E. 328
Docket NumberNo. 7908.,7908.
Decision Date17 April 1934

174 S.E. 328


No. 7908.

Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.

April 17, 1934

[174 S.E. 328]


Syllabus by the Court.

1. The question of dependency under the Workmen's Compensation Law of West Virginia is not to be determined by ordinary legal or ethical conceptions, but by the classification of dependents made by that law itself.

2. An infant son (under sixteen years of age) who for a number of years has not received any support whatever from the earnings of his father is not a dependent under the Workmen's Compensation Law.

Appeal from State Compensation Commission.

Proceedings under the Workmen's Compensation Law by Mrs. Roy G. Harding, who sues on behalf of Hollie Paxton, alleged dependent, for compensation for the death of Lawrence Paxton, deceased. From a ruling of the State Compensation Commissioner denying compensation, the claimant appeals.


England & Ritchie, of Charleston, for.appellant.

Homer A. Holt, Atty. Gen., and Kenneth E. Hines, Asst. Atty. Gen., for respondent.


This case presents the sole question, Shall benefits under the Workmen's Compensation Law (Code 1931, 23-1-1 et seq.) be paid to a child of a deceased workman, when the child, though dependent on the father under general law, was not in fact supported by him at the time of his death?

Lawrence Paxton was killed in 1932 while at work for a subscriber to the workmen's compensation fund. He left a son, Hollie, then ten years old. Benefits for Hollie under the compensation statutes were refused by the compensation commissioner.

In 1924, Hollie's mother placed him with a stranger, Mrs. Roy Harding, and promised to pay her $8 weekly for his maintenance and support. He has remained with Mrs. Harding ever since. Mrs. Paxton made payments to Mrs. Harding for "a short time" after she took the child, and then failed to pay anything until the fall of 1933. Mrs. Harding never had any dealings whatever directly with Mr. Paxton. Her sister heard him promise Mrs. Paxton to help care for Hollie if he were placed in a private family. Whether Paxton kept that promise in any particular does not appear. The Paxtons lived apart a number of years before his death, and were seemingly separated at the time Hollie was placed with Mrs. Harding.

Counsel for the claimant contends that a child the age of Hollie is conclusively presumed to be dependent on his father. This contention is not applicable in this ease.because dependency under...

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4 cases
  • Orouin v. Ellis C. Snodgrass Co.
    • United States
    • Supreme Judicial Court of Maine (US)
    • 12 Diciembre 1941
    ......So too if a child is living apart from the parent and the state of the child when the employee met with his accident is that of actual ...Sherwood Ice Co., 40 R.I. 203, 100 A. 316; Harding v. State Compensation Com'r, 114 W.Va. 817, 174 S.E. 328; Utah Fuel Co. v. ...Industrial Comm., 188 Wis. 642, 206 N.W. 914; 1 Honnold's Workmen's Comp, Sec. 82; 71 Corpus Juris 531. The following cases relied upon in the ......
  • Johnson v. West Va. Office of The Ins. Comm'r
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 18 Noviembre 2010
    ...but by the classification of dependents made by that law itself.” Syl. pt. 1, Harding v. State Compensation Commissioner, 114 W.Va. 817, 174 S.E. 328 (1934). Edwin H. Pancake, Esq., Maroney, Williams, Weaver & Pancake, Charleston, WV, for Appellant.Karin L. Weingart, Esq., Spilman, Thomas &......
  • Wilson v. Hill
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Delaware
    • 14 Febrero 1950
    ...... In all of the cases cited by the defendant, the statute of the state in which the court was sitting contained some particular provision which ...        In Harding v. State Compensation Commission, 114 W. Va. 817, 174 S.E. 328, the West ......
  • Harding v. State Compensation Com'r
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 17 Abril 1934

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