Larsen v. Industrial Acc. Commission

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (California)
Writing for the CourtSCHAUER; GIBSON
Citation34 Cal.2d 772,215 P.2d 16
PartiesLARSEN et al. v. INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT COMMISSION et al. L. A. 21258.
Decision Date24 February 1950

Page 16

215 P.2d 16
34 Cal.2d 772
LARSEN et al.
L. A. 21258.
Supreme Court of California, in Bank.
Feb. 24, 1950.

Page 17

[34 Cal.2d 773] Riedman & Silverberg, Fred M. Riedman and Milton H. Silverberg, Long Beach, for petitioners.

T. Groezinger, Kearney, McCartney, Scott & Clopton and Howard J. Scott, Los Angeles, for respondents.

SCHAUER, Justice.

Petitioners, surviving members of the household of an employe who suffered fatal injury in the course and scope of his employment, seek review of an award of death benefits. They contend that the evidence before the Industrial Accident Commission does not support its finding that the employe's daughter was not dependent upon him for support; that such evidence requires a finding that she was partially dependent;

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and that the amount of the award should be increased. With these contentions we agree.

Petitioners are the employe's widow, their 19 year old daughter, and the employe's mother-in-law. After hearing on petitioners' application for adjustment of claim for death benefits, the Industrial Accident Commission found that the widow was wholly dependent, 1 that the mother-in-law was partially dependent, 2 and that the daughter was not dependent. 3 It made an award to the widow of $6,000, the maximum benefit permitted by statute (Lab.Code, § 4702) under the findings.

The evidence which requires a finding that the daughter was partially dependent is as follows: 'that the daughter made $37.00 a week ('take home pay of about $32'), and that [34 Cal.2d 774] she supported herself, and because she was trying to save money contributed nothing to the household expenses and received her room and board free.' Whether she was successful in her effort to save money does not appear. There is no direct evidence of the value of the board and room which the employe gave his daughter; however, it was stipulated that the value of the substantially similar contributions of necessities to his mother-in-law was $72 a month and, based upon this stipulation, the commission found that the annual amount devoted by him to support of the mother-in-law was $864.

It is apparent that at the time of his injury the deceased was contributing substantially the same necessities of life to his mother-in-law and to his daughter, and that each of the latter (the mother-in-law through use of her social security income and the daughter through use of at least part of her earnings) contributed to her own support. Although the daughter, unlike the mother-in-law, might have been able to purchase for herself the bare necessities of life without aid from deceased, both mother-in-law and daughter were partially dependent within the meaning of the workmen's compensation act. Dependency within the meaning of the act 'does not mean absolute dependency for the necessities of life; it is sufficient that contributions of the workman are looked to for support in the maintenance of the dependent's accustomed mode of living.' (1916A L.R.A., p. 248, quoted with approval in London G. & A. Co. Ltd. v. Industrial Acc....

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11 cases
  • Arp v. Workers' Comp. Appeals Bd.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • May 5, 1977
    ...dependency, since partial dependency is determined in light of the applicant's standard of living. (Larsen v. Industrial Acc. Com. (1950) 34 Cal.2d 772, 774, 215 P.2d 16; London Guar. etc. Co. v. Ind. Acc. Com. (1943) 57 Cal.App.2d 616, 619, 135 P.2d 7.) Moreover, under section 3501, subdiv......
  • Smith v. Workmen's Compensation Appeals Bd.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • September 29, 1966 the determination of the issue of dependency as a matter of fact in workmen's compensation cases. (Larsen v. Industrial Acc. Comm., 34 Cal.2d 772, 774, 215 P.2d 16; London Guarantee and Accident Co. v. Ind. Acc. Comm., 203 Cal. 12, 16, 263 P. 196; London Guar., etc., Co. v. Ind. Acc. Com......
  • Peterson v. Thief River Falls Welding Co., 36427
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Minnesota (US)
    • July 8, 1955 supply her with room and meals and because she received $23.23 a month from social security. Larsen v. Industrial Accident Commission, 34 Cal.2d 772, 215 P.2d 16. In Gantner v. Fayette Brick & Tile Co., Mo.App., 236 S.W.2d 415, 417, the court held the evidence undisputed that the son was......
  • Department of Corrections v. Workers' Comp. Appeals Bd., S.F. 23818
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • February 1, 1979
    ...Corp. v. Workers' Comp. Appeals Bd. (1978) 22 Cal.3d 658, 668, 150 Cal.Rptr. 250, 586 P.2d 564; Larsen v. Industrial Acc. Comp. (1950) 34 Cal.2d 772, 776, 215 P.2d 16.) That statutory presumption unquestionably applies to the construction of statutes governing death benefits. (E. g., L. B. ......
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