In re Claim of Jensen

Decision Date01 April 1947
Docket Number2358
Citation178 P.2d 897,63 Wyo. 88
PartiesIN THE MATTER OF THE CLAIM OF PAUL JENSEN, an Employee of Manning and Brown, Inc., now Fred M. Manning, Inc., Made under "Workmen's Compensation Law". v. MANNING AND BROWN, INC., now FRED M. MANNING, INC., Employer-Defendant and Respondent PAUL JENSEN, Employee-Claimant and Appellant,
CourtWyoming Supreme Court

APPEAL from District Court, Hot Springs County; P. W. METZ, Judge.

Proceeding under the Workmen's Compensation Act by Paul Jensen claimant, opposed by Manning & Brown, Inc., now Fred M Manning, Inc., employer. From a judgment disallowing the claims, claimant appeals.

Reversed and remanded.

Reversed.

For the appellant the cause was submitted upon the brief of Ingle and Ingle and Lyman B. Yonkee all of Thermopolis, Wyoming, and oral argument by Chester Ingle, Jr. and Mr. Yonkee.

POINTS OF COUNSEL FOR APPELLANT

Where as a part of a contract of employment, the employer supplies a conveyance for the transportation of the employee from his home to work and back to his home each day, the work begins when the employee boards the conveyance and continued during the trip and during the work and during the return trip. Under such a special contract, if an injury occur during the transportation, the injury occurs within the period of the employment, at a place where an employee has a right to be and while he is doing something incidental to his employment because contemplated by it. An injury received by an employee while riding to or from his work in a conveyance furnished by his employer is one which arises in the course of and out of the employment. McKinney vs. Dorlac, et al., 146 P.2d page 867; 71 C. J. 723.

Where the employer has furnished the means of transportation either before or after the work has actually commenced and the employee is injured, this injury arises out of and in the course of the employment. Wabnec v. Clemons Logging Company, 263 P. 592.

The words "in course of employment" refer to the time place and circumstances under which the accident took place and an accident arises in the course of employment if it occurs while the employee is doing the duty which he is employed to perform. If the employee is doing the duty he is employed to perform, then he is doing a duty while being transported, being in the course of his employment. Wirta vs. North Butte Mining Co., 210 P. 332; Hobson v. Department of Industry, 27 P.2d 1091; Venho vs. Ostrander Railway and Timber Co., 52 P.2d 1267;

It has been established by a series of decisions that employment under the Workmen's Compensation Act may be regarded as existing before the actual operations of the workmen have begun and that it may continue to exist after the actual work has ceased. John Stewart and Son vs. Longhurst (1917) A. C. 249 Ann. Cases 1917D 196; Herberson vs. Great Falls Coal & Wood Co., 273 P. 294.

Where an employee was injured while being transported to or from work by a fellow employee, and it was contemplated that the employer would furnish, or be responsible for transportation, it has been held that the injury arose out of and in the course of the employment. 97 A. L. R. 555.

It is a general though not invariable rule, so common as to require no citation of authority, that an injury sustained in going to or from work does not arise out of and in the course of the employment within the meaning of Workmen's Compensation Acts.

An exception to this rule, however, is generally recognized where the employee's compensation covers the time involved in going to or from his work, or an allowance is made for the costs of transportation. 87 A. L. R. 250; Voehl vs. Indemnity Insurance Co. (U. S.) 288 U.S. 162, 53 S.Ct. 380, 77 L.Ed. 676, 87 A. L. R. 245; MacClelland v. Dodge Bros., (1931) 233 A.D. 504, 253 N.Y.S. 773 (appeal dismissed) 259 N.Y. 565, 182 N.E. 183.

All courts are agreed that there should be accorded to the Workmen's Compensation Act a broad and liberal construction, that doubtful cases should be resolved in favor of compensation, and that the humane purposes which these acts seek to serve leave no room for narrow technical constructions. One of the purposes of the Workmen's Compensation Acts is to broaden the right of employees to compensation for injuries due to their employment. Lamm vs. Silver Falls Timber Co., 286 P. 527.

For the respondent the cause was submitted upon the brief of Edward L. Wood of Denver, Colorado, and William H. Brown, Jr. of Casper, Wyoming, and oral argument by Mr. Wood.

POINTS OF COUNSEL FOR RESPONDENT

To bring appellant within the rule contended for (that is, to permit recovery of compensation) the injuries sustained by the deceased must have (1) arisen in the course of his employment (2) the employment must have been continuous; (3) and the trip must have been in furtherance of his employer's business. McKinnew v. Dorlac, et al., 146 P. (2) 867.

Under the Workmen's Compensation Act of Wyoming, an employee who is injured while on his way to assume the duties of his employment or after leaving such duties, must establish, in order to be entitled to compensation; (a) that he is within one of the recognized exceptions to the general rule that no compensation is recoverable by an employee who is injured on his way to or from work, (b) that the proximate cause of the injury was the negligence of the employer. Repstine v. Hudson, 126 P.2d 225; Harrison v. Lazier, 145 P.2d 147; Cueller v. American Employers Insurance Co., 9 P.2d 685; Caveness v. Driscoll Co., 49 P.2d 251; Olguin v. Thygesen, 143 P.2d 585.

The general rule is that an injury sustained in going to or from work does not arise out of and in the course of the employment within the meaning of workmen's compensation acts. The rule is subject, however, to certain well recognized exceptions under which it is considered that the factors of time, place and circumstance are such as to require a conclusion that the claimant was "in the course of his employment" at the time of the injury, and thus entitled to compensation under the usual and ordinary workmen's compensation acts. The exceptions are:

(a) Where the route traveled by the employee is the exclusive place of travel between home and place of employment and the degree of exposure to the risk in using such route is much greater to the employee than to the general public, as in the case of Cudahy Packing Company v. Paramore (Utah) 207 P. 148, 68 L.Ed. 366.

(b) Where the employee is riding in a vehicle of the employer under an implied or expressed agreement to furnish transportation for the employee, as in the case of McGeorge v. Commission (Okla.), 69 P.2d 320.

(c) Where the period of service includes the travel time, as in the case of McKinney v. Dorlac (New Mexico), 146 P.2d 867.

(d) Where the employee is performing some particular duty, or running a special errand for the employer, as in the case of Cymbor v. Coal Company, 132 A. 363.

(e) Where the place of employment is not fixed, for example in the case of the employment of longshoremen working at different piers and traveling from place to place while working, as in the case of Ohmen v. Adams, 146 A. 825.

(f) Where travel is an essential or integral part of the employment and there is an expressed or implied contract by the employer to provide transportation, as in the case of Conepka v. Commission (Mich.), 258 N.W. 429.

RINER, Chief Justice. KIMBALL, J., and BLUME, J., concur.

OPINION

RINER, Chief Justice.

This case presents the question whether under the Workmen's Compensation Law of this state and the material facts disclosed by the record, the claimant below and appellant here, Paul Jensen, who was seriously injured in an automobile accident on the 7th of July, 1945, should properly be entitled to an award for compensation, medical and hospital expense. Manning and Brown, Inc., now Fred M. Manning, Inc., the employer, resisted payment of these claims from the Workmen's Compensation Fund. The district court of Hot Springs County after trial at which both parties introduced evidence, decided that Jensen was not so entitled and disallowed his claims for an award in these matters. He has brought the record and judgment here for review by direct appeal.

The important facts which should operate to control the disposition of this case are not very greatly in dispute and as we find them to be, are:

Manning and Brown, Inc., hereinafter usually referred to as the "company" or the "employer", on the 7th day of July, 1945 was engaged in drilling an oil well in the Buffalo Basin oil field, Park County, Wyoming. They employed at that well as tool-pusher one John Lorenz and as driller a man named Emile A. Long. The latter had hired a drilling crew and Paul Jensen, above mentioned, Robert and William Pebbles, and Charles Edwards were members of it. Long and these four men each had their homes in the town of Thermopolis, Hot Springs County, Wyoming, which was located about fifty miles distant from the oil well where they were all engaged in the drilling operations. These employees were obliged to live in Thermopolis as there were no adequate accommodations in Meeteetse, the town nearest the well, or at the well site. They traveled to the well each morning and returned home each evening after their duties there had been performed, by means of automobiles owned by some members of the crew. These men, aside from the driller received about a dollar an hour for their work. Usually the driller, Long, drove his own car for this transportation though when his car was laid up for repairs, another member of the crew who owned a car carried the men to and from the well.

Prior to October 23, 1944, the company did not concern itself with the matter of transporting its drilling crews in...

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  • Wilson v. Rowan Drilling Co., 5244
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    ...in question was copied from the statutes of Wyoming. The Supreme Court of that state had the identical question to decide in Re Jensen, 63 Wyo. 88, 178 P.2d 897, 908. The exact statute was pleaded as a defense. The workmen were a drilling crew; their traveling expenses to and from the well ......
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