Hills v. Servicemaster of Connecticut River Valley, Inc .

Decision Date08 June 1967
CourtConnecticut Supreme Court
PartiesSamuel HILLS v. SERVICEMASTER OF CONNECTICUT RIVER VALLEY, INC., et al.

John A. Berman, Hartford, for appellant (plaintiff).

Francis J. McCarthy, Hartford, with whom were Frank E. Dully, Hartford, and, on the brief, Edward D. O'Brien, Hartford, for appellees (defendants).

Before KING, C.J., and ALCORN, HOUSE, THIM, and RYAN, JJ.

THIM, Associate Justice.

The claimant seeks workmen's compensation for injuries which he sustained when he attempted to climb out of a moving elevator. After a hearing, the commissioner made an award dismissing the claim. The claimant appealed to the Superior Court, which, although it found that the claimant was entitled to have the commissioner's finding corrected in certain respects, dismissed the appeal. The present appeal followed.

The commissioner's finding, as corrected by the Superior Court, reveals the following facts: On the afternoon of June 6, 1963, the claimant, along with three other employees of the named defendant, was cleaning the interior of a large house on Prospect Avenue in West Hartford. Within the house was a small elevator which ran between the first and second floors. The claimant was working on the third floor, cleaning a chandelier. After a time, he walked downstairs to the second floor and entered the elevator. He did this despite earlier instructions from his group leader to stay away from the elevator. The claimant called to a fellow worker who was working on the second floor at the time. That worker joined the claimant in the elevator. As the elevator began to descend slowly, the claimant attempted to claim back onto the second floor landing. In the course of this attempt he was injured.

To be entitled to workmen's compensation, the claimant had the burden of proving that his injuries were sustained in the course of his employment and that they arose out of that employment. Metall v. Aluminum Co. of America, 154 Conn. 48, 51, 221 A.2d 260; Woodley v. Rossi, 152 Conn 1, 4, 202 A.2d 136. As the injury occurred while the claimant was using the elevator, it was incumbent on him to prove that he was using the elevator in the course of his employment. The claimant and the other worker who was on the elevator with the claimant at the time of the accident testified, without direct contradiction, that they were using the elevator to go down to the first floor to get additional cleaning materials. The defendants' evidence was that the claimant had been instructed not to use the elevator. The commissioner expressly found that the claimant had not proved that he was using the elevator to get cleaning materials. The claimant assigns error in this finding. He claims the finding is unreasonable in view of the uncontradicted testimony on this point. We disagree. It was the duty of the commissioner, as trier, to judge the credibility of the witnesses and to accept or reject their testimony accordingly. Solari v. Seperak, 154 Conn. 179, 183, ...

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5 cases
  • Dombach v. Olkon Corp.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • June 6, 1972
    ...injuries were sustained in the course of his employment and that they arose out of that employment. Hills v. Servicemaster of Connecticut River Valley, Inc., 155 Conn. 214, 216, 230 A.2d 604; Metall v. Aluminum Co. of America, 154 Conn. 48, 51, 221 A.2d 260; Woodley v. Rossi, 152 Conn. 1, 4......
  • Adzima v. UAC/Norden Division
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • March 20, 1979
    ...have the burden of proving both a compensable injury and the extent of the disability. See Hills v. Servicemaster of Connecticut River Valley, Inc., 155 Conn. 214, 216, 230 A.2d 604 (1967); Woodley v. Rossi, 152 Conn. 1, 4, 202 A.2d 136 (1964). In these circumstances, extending Menzies to a......
  • State v. Dudla
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • May 3, 1983
    ...certainly not required to believe testimony merely because it is not directly contradicted"; Hills v. Servicemaster of Connecticut River Valley, Inc., 155 Conn. 214, 216-17, 230 A.2d 604 (1967); particularly in a criminal case. The jury might have doubted the uncorroborated testimony offere......
  • Malafronte v. Planning and Zoning Bd. of City of Milford
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • June 8, 1967
    ......Supreme Court of Connecticut. June 8, 1967.         [155 Conn. 207] . Page 608. ......
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