Hed v. Brockway Glass Co.

Decision Date04 June 1976
Docket NumberNo. 45869,45869
PartiesLeonard HED, Respondent, v. BROCKWAY GLASS COMPANY, et al., Relators, John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company, Intervenor, Respondent, Continental Casualty Company, Intervenor, Respondent.
CourtMinnesota Supreme Court

Syllabus by the Court

The decision of the Workers' Compensation Board is affirmed because there is substantial evidence to support its finding that the employee's injuries arose out of and in the course of his employment.

Jardine, Logan & O'Brien and Alan R. Vanasek, St. Paul, for relators.

Lais, Bannigan & Ciresi and Donald L. Lais, St. Paul, for Hed.

Considered and decided by the court without oral argument.

MacLAUGHLIN, Justice.

The employer and insurer seek review of a decision of the Workers' Compensation Board awarding the employee benefits for permanent and total disability and medical expenses. The issue on appeal is whether the board's finding that the employee's injuries arose out of and in the course of his employment is supported by substantial evidence.

The employee was injured on December 12, 1971, when his automobile left State Highway No. 3 north of Rosemount, Minnesota, minutes after he left the premises of his employer, Brockway Glass Company, at the end of his workday. The employee has no memory of the events that transpired from the time he entered onto Highway 3 until after the accident. It is his claim that the accident resulted from falling asleep or passing out which was caused by unusual fatigue due to the exertion and stress of his employment.

At the time of the accident the employee was 50 years old and had a 31-year work history as a bricklayer. He began work at the Brockway Glass Company on December 10, 1971, approximately 1 week after the completion of his previous job. His work hours were 8 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. with a 30-minute lunch break and two 15-minute coffee breaks so that he was engaged in work activities for a total of 9 hours and 15 minutes. The normal workday was 8 hours for the employee and bricklayers generally.

The employee's duties at Brockway consisted primarily of laying firebrick, each of which weighed approximately 12 pounds, in the floor of a glass furnace. The temperature in his work area was so warm that the employees perspired freely though working in T-shirts. Other employees testified that the work at Brockway was harder than the usual brickwork and that the longer work hours left them more tired than usual. The longer hours resulted from a desire of the employer to complete the job as soon as possible because the shutdown of a glass furnace curtailed production.

The employee worked Friday and Saturday, December 10 and 11, without incident or noticeable physical difficulty. Toward the end of the day on Sunday, December 12, he noticed that he was becoming very tired. At 6:15 p.m. he went to the employee locker room feeling very 'beat' and shaky. Another worker at Brockway, who was last to see the employee before he left the premises, noticed that his hands were shaking quite badly and that as a result he had a great deal of difficulty zipping his lunch and thermos bag. He described the employee's appearance as follows:

'* * * On the evening of his accident, I was getting ready to go home after work. Leonard was getting ready to go home also. I noticed he was trying to zipper up his lunch and thermos bag, but his hands were shaking so badly he couldn't zip it shut. * * * I said: 'Why don't you sit down and we'll shoot the breeze a bit.' When he sat down, his hands had stopped shaking. Again, I asked him if he wasn't feeling well. When he was trying to close the bag it was like old people get. The more tedious it got, the more nervous he got. When I talked to him while he sat on the bench, I got right down in front of him. I had had a heart attack and at first I thought he was having a heart attack. But he seemed to have a good complexion. His...

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6 cases
  • Case of Haslam's
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • April 8, 2008
    ...of travel by requiring the employee to work unusually long hours. See, e.g., Van Devander v. Heller Elec. Co., supra; Hed v. Brockway Glass Co., supra at 76, 244 N.W.2d 28; Snowbarger v. Tri-County Elec. Coop., supra at 349; Deland v. Hutchings Psychiatric Ctr., supra. We need not decide in......
  • Falls v. Union Drilling Inc.
    • United States
    • West Virginia Supreme Court
    • December 10, 2008
    ...employee to work unusually long hours: Van Devander v. Heller Elec. Co., 405 F.2d 1108, 1110 (D.C.Cir.1968); Hed v. Brockway Glass Co., 309 Minn. 73, 76, 244 N.W.2d 28 (1976); Snowbarger v. Tri-County Elec. Corp., 793 S.W.2d 348, 350 (Mo. 1990); Deland v. Hutchings Psychiatric Ctr., 203 A.D......
  • Britt v. Shelby County Health Care Auth.
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Civil Appeals
    • April 13, 2001
    ...jurisdictions as persuasive authority, including Swanson v. Fairway Foods, 439 N.W.2d 722, 723 (Minn.1989), and Hed v. Brockway Glass Co., 309 Minn. 73, 244 N.W.2d 28 (1976). See Brunson Milling Co. v. Grimes, 267 Ala. 395, 103 So.2d 315 (1958). As in the Swanson case, the facts in this cas......
  • Snowbarger v. Tri-County Elec. Co-op.
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • July 31, 1990
    ...while driving home after completing an off-premises task; he had worked twenty-seven hours without sleep. In Hed v. Brockway Glass Co., 309 Minn. 73, 244 N.W.2d 28 (1976), a bricklayer required to work overtime under conditions of unusual heat was injured in an accident on his way home from......
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