McGarry v. Industrial Commission of Utah

Decision Date21 January 1925
Docket Number4163
Citation64 Utah 592,232 P. 1090
CourtUtah Supreme Court

Proceeding by W. C. McGarry and others to review an order of the Industrial Commission of Utah, awarding compensation to John Calvin Bradley, for the death of Delos Bradley employee.

AWARD ANNULLED and set aside.

Booth Lee, Badger, Rich & Rich, of Salt Lake City, for plaintiffs.

Harvey H. Cluff, Atty. Gen., and J. Robert Robinson, Asst. Atty Gen., for defendants.

THURMAN, J. GIDEON, C. J., and CHERRY, J., FRICK, J., concurring. Term of office of Hon. A. J. WEBER, who was Chief Justice, expired before disposition of this cause.



Plaintiffs seek by this proceeding to review an order of the Utah Industrial Commission, defendant herein, awarding compensation to John Calvin Bradley, a minor. Compensation was awarded to the minor as a dependent of his father, Delos Bradley, who died as a result of an accidental injury in the course of his employment at Park City, Utah, October 21, 1922. The plaintiff, Kopp & McGarry Company was the employer of deceased at the time of his death and plaintiff United States Fidelity & Guaranty Company carried the insurance. There is no dispute as to the jurisdictional facts above stated.

This is the second time this case has been before the court. The decision rendered upon the former hearing is reported in 63 Utah 81, 222 P. 592, to which reference is made for a detailed statement of the case as it was then presented to the court. For convenience of the reader, we briefly summarize certain material matters reported in the decision necessary to be understood in this connection.

Alice Baker Bradley, the mother of the minor and his duly appointed guardian, and Delos Bradley, the deceased, intermarried at Blackfoot, Idaho, July 3, 1914. John Calvin Bradley, sole issue of said marriage, was born in June, 1915. The deceased supported his wife and child for a period of about six months, after which he furnished no support whatever. In November, 1919, upon application of the wife, the Idaho court granted her a divorce and the custody and maintenance of the child. About that time Delos Bradley, left Idaho for parts unknown to his wife and assumed the name of "Jack Wilson," by which name he was known to his employer. His whereabouts from the time he left Idaho was unknown to his wife until she heard of his death. Shortly afterwards, as guardian, she applied to the defendant Commission for compensation under the Utah Industrial Act on behalf of her child. The Commission found the child was wholly dependent, and awarded compensation accordingly. Upon reviewing the case this court came to the conclusion that as the facts were insufficient to justify an award for total dependency, the Commission must have made the award upon the theory that dependency was conclusively presumed, as provided in Comp. Laws Utah 1917, § 3140, par. 5, subd. a, as amended in Sess. Laws 1919, at page 164. Consequently, the court held the award could not be sustained and nullified and set it aside. The court, however, in its opinion, suggested that further evidence might establish a dependency under the last provision of the section referred to which reads:

"In all other cases, the question of dependency, in whole or in part, shall be determined in accordance with the facts in each particular case existing at the time of the injury."

As the opinion states at some length the reason for the suggestion made by the court, further review of it is unnecessary in this connection.

After the decision was handed down, the Commission, by resolution reopened the case for the taking of further evidence and gave the plaintiffs herein notice thereof. Plaintiffs entered seasonable objection to the jurisdiction of the Commission in view of the decision of this court, but the objection was overruled, after which the Commission proceeded to hear the evidence in the state of Idaho, to which proceeding plaintiffs also objected. The evidence so taken, among other things, tended to show that the minor was and had been in more or less destitute circumstances; that its mother had been unable to support herself and the child, and that she had been compelled to obtain substantial assistance from the county for the child's support. Upon this evidence, which was not contradicted, together with the evidence taken at the former hearing, the Commission again found that the minor was wholly dependent and awarded compensation accordingly. An application for rehearing was denied and the case is before us again for review.

Plaintiffs present the following issues to be determined:

"1. The Industrial Commission was without jurisdiction to reopen the case and grant a rehearing or a hearing de novo, to take further testimony, after its original award had been set aside and annulled by the Supreme Court.

"2. The Industrial Commission had no jurisdiction or right to hold a hearing and take testimony beyond the territorial boundaries of the state of Utah and therefore all proceedings had at Blackfoot, Idaho, over the objection of plaintiffs, were all void.

"3. It is not shown from the record that at the time of the death of the deceased the minor child was wholly dependent upon the deceased for its support and maintenance. Plaintiffs contended that it affirmatively appears from the evidence and the entire record, that at the time of the death of the deceased the minor child was neither wholly nor partially dependent upon the deceased for its support and maintenance within the meaning of the Workmen's Compensation Act, and that there is not sufficient evidence to support the award of the Commission, independently of the irregularity of the proceedings in the state of Idaho."

For convenience we shall first consider the second objection, as it can be disposed of without extended discussion. The Commission had no power to hear the evidence in Idaho against plaintiffs' objection. Comp. Laws Utah 1917, § 3081, provides how evidence may be taken in a foreign jurisdiction in cases arising under the Industrial Act. That section reads:

"The Commission or any party may in any investigation cause depositions of witnesses residing within or without the state to be taken as in civil actions."

Comp. Laws Utah, 1917, §§ 7163 to 7177, inclusive, prescribes the method in civil actions and is exclusive as far as the authority of the Commission is concerned. The taking of testimony in the state of Idaho, in the manner complained of, was beyond the jurisdiction of the Commission, and there being no other evidence sufficient to sustain the award, it follows that the award should be annulled and set aside. It is necessary, however, to determine the other questions presented.

The first objection in the order above quoted proceeds upon the theory that whenever an award of the Commission is annulled by this court on review, the jurisdiction of the Commission for all purposes is exhausted. The statute (Comp. Laws Utah 1917, § 3148, as amended in Laws Utah 1919, at pages 164 and 165), in cases of review, provides that upon the hearing by the court "the court shall enter judgment either affirming or setting aside the award."

The statute should be given a reasonable interpretation. If the interpretation of plaintiffs is correct, it might lead to absurd, and, oftentimes, lamentable results. Let us take the instant case, for example, and eliminate every objection made by plaintiffs except the one we have just decided, in which we have held the award should be annulled and set aside because the Commission was without authority to hear the evidence in Idaho. That being the only objection, the result would be the Commission would be powerless to hear further evidence even within the state of Utah, in which it has undoubted jurisdiction. It might be a case of unquestioned dependency and extreme hardship, but justice would fail because the Commission made an honest mistake as to the extent of its jurisdiction. It is hardly to be presumed that such an interpretation of the statute fairly reflects the intention of the Legislature. It is more probable that the Legislature contemplated that if the Commission, by mistake in a given case, should exceed its jurisdiction and its award be annulled on that account it should not be ousted of its jurisdiction altogether, but be permitted to proceed in the determination of the rights of the parties, observing, however, any limitations imposed by the court which annulled the award. There is nothing whatever in the Utah Industrial Act from which it can be logically inferred that the annulment of an award by the Supreme Court for specific reasons set forth in its opinion ousts the Commission of its jurisdiction of the case for purposes otherwise just and lawful. We are therefore not prevented by anything found in the statute from giving it such an interpretation as will avoid results which the Legislature evidently could not have intended.

It is possible that plaintiffs may feel that the example we have given is unfair because it involves only a technical error of the Commission in which the merits of the case were not involved. Let us suppose a case in which the merits are involved and in which the Commission finds that the applicant, under the evidence, is not entitled to compensation. The applicant brings the case before this court for review. The court finds as matter of law, that all the evidence is in favor of the applicant and that he is justly entitled to compensation. For that reason the court annuls the award and sets it aside, which is all it can do under the law. What then becomes of the case? If the Commission's jurisdiction of the case is exhausted so that nothing further can be done...

To continue reading

Request your trial
19 cases
  • Ash v. Modern Sand & Gravel Co.
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • December 6, 1938
    ... ...          (1) The ... Compensation Commission has the duty under the statutes to ... hear evidence, make findings of ... necessary. Nevertheless, see Panther Creek Mines v ... Industrial Commission, 296 Ill. 565, 130 N.E. 321; ... Serrano v. Cudahy Packing o., 194 Iowa 689, 190 ... N.W. 132; McGarry v. Industrial Commission, 64 Utah ... 592, 232 P. 1090, 39 A. L. R. 306; ... ...
  • Crutcher v. Curtiss-Robertson Airplane Mfg. Co.
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • September 3, 1932
    ... ...          (1) The ... findings of the commission that Crutcher's death arose ... out of and in the course of his ... 3301, R. S. 1929); ... Union Colliery Co. v. Industrial Com., 132 N.E. 200; ... Imperial Brass Co. v. Industrial Com., 306 ... Glaze v. Hart, ... 36 S.W.2d 684; McGarry v. Industrial Comm., 64 Utah ... 592, 232 P. 1090; Moran's Case, 234 ... ...
  • Heflin v. Red Front Cash & Carry Stores
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court
    • December 1, 1947
    ... ... award of the Industrial ... [75 N.E.2d 663] ... Board of Indiana. That opinion was written by ... 363, 12 P.2d 294; ... Paramount Pictures, etc., v. Industrial Commission, ... 1940, 56 Ariz. 217, (Opinion on Rehearing 56 Ariz. 352) 106 ... d [225 Ind. 524] 1024 ; McGarry v. Industrial ... Commission, 1925, 64 Utah 592, 232 P. 1090, 39 A.L.R ... ...
  • Buckingham Transp. Co. v. Industrial Commission
    • United States
    • Utah Supreme Court
    • October 25, 1937
    ... 72 P.2d 1077 93 Utah 342 BUCKINGHAM TRANSP. CO. v. INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION et al No. 5793 Supreme Court of Utah October 25, 1937 ... [72 P.2d 1078] ... v ... Brown , 61 Utah 29, 210 P. 608; Continental ... Casualty Co. v. Industrial Comm. , 63 ... Utah 59, 221 P. 852; McGarry v. Industrial ... Comm. , 63 Utah 81, 222 P. 592; Aetna Life Ins ... Co. v. Industrial Comm. , 69 Utah 102, 252 P ... 567. While, as ... ...
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT