Kasari v. Indus. Comm.

Decision Date15 June 1932
Docket Number23443
Citation125 Ohio St. 410,181 N.E. 809
PartiesKasari v. Industrial Commission Of Ohio.
CourtOhio Supreme Court

Workmen's compensation - Course of employment - Employe, upon entering employer's premises, is discharging duty to employer when - Traversing zone between entrance and place of work hazard of employment, when - Negligence and contributory negligence not involved, when.

1. An employe, entering the premises of his employer to begin the discharge of the duties of his employment but who has not yet reached the place where his service is to be rendered, is discharging a duty to his employer which is a necessary incident to his day's work.

2. Traversing the zone between the entrance of the employer's premises and the plant where an employe is employed, is one of the hazards of the employment.

3. The negligence of an employer is not a necessary element of recovery by an employe out of the workmen's compensation fund, neither will the contributory negligence of the employe, not amounting to a purposely self-inflicted injury defeat such recovery.

This cause was heard in the court of common pleas of Lake county Ohio, on appeal from an order of the Industrial Commission of Ohio denying compensation out of the workmen's compensation fund to Ida Kasari on account of the death of her husband.

The following are the undisputed facts disclosed by the record: On September 20, 1928, at about 6:30 a.m., Matt Kasari, an employe of the Diamond Alkali Company, of Fairport Harbor, Ohio, was on his way to work, and had reached a point within the premises of his employer. He met his death by being struck by an automobile being driven from the plant. The decedent at the time he was struck was approximately twenty-five feet inside the entrance to the plant, on the roadway of the property of his employer. The roadway had sidewalks on either side. Kasari had approached on the south sidewalk, but, reaching an unpaved portion thereof, was crossing the roadway to reach the north sidewalk. The claim was denied by the commission, on the ground that the decedent was not, at the time he was injured, in the course of his employment. On appeal the court of common pleas found in favor of the claimant. The Court of Appeals reversed the common pleas court and entered final judgment against the plaintiff. This court has allowed a motion to certify the record.

Messrs. Anderson & Lamb and Messrs. Cerrezin & Wilson, for plaintiff in error.

Mr. Gilbert Bettman, attorney general, Mr. R. R. Zurmehly, Mr. J. Frank Pollock and Mr. James H. Davis, for defendant in error.


The question to be determined in this case is whether Kasari was, at the time of his injury, in the course of his employment, and in its last analysis it must be ascertained whether his approach to the plant of the employer, after reaching the premises of the employer, but before reaching the plant, brings him within the hazards of the employment. In deciding the instant case it is not necessary to declare a universal rule that the hazards begin in all instances at the point where the employe crosses the line of the employer's premises. The extent of the grounds of the employer and the remoteness or proximity of the plant to the place of entrance, and many other elements, may enter into the inquiry. In the instant case the entrance to the employer's premises was not sufficiently remote to cause the decision to turn upon that point.

In employers' liability cases the Supreme Court of the United States has made declarations which have a bearing upon this inquiry. In Erie Rd. Co. v. Winfield, 244 U.S. 170, 37 S. Ct., 556, 61 L.Ed. 1057, Ann.Cas., 1918B, 662, the employe was leaving the employ- ment at the end of his day's work. It was declared that he was discharging a duty of his employment. It was stated in the opinion in that case, page 173 of 244 U.S. 37 S. Ct., 557: "Like his trip through the yard to his engine in the morning, it was a necessary incident of his day's work and partook of the character of that work as a whole, for it was no more an incident of one part than of another." This is but one of numerous cases decided by the Supreme Court of the United States which hold that under the Federal Employers' Liability Act (Title 45, Sections 51 to 59, in. S. Code) employes injured while on the way to work, after reaching the premises of the employer, are within the course of the employment. We are not able to draw a logical distinction between "course of employment"...

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