Mulligan v. Oakes

Decision Date09 January 1942
Citation23 A.2d 870
CourtConnecticut Supreme Court
PartiesMULLIGAN v. OAKES et al.

Appeal from Superior Court, Fairfield County; Daly, Judge.

Proceeding under the Workmen's Compensation Act by Julia Mulligan, employee, opposed by Mary B. Oakes, employer, and others in the nature of an appeal from a finding and award of the Compensation Commissioner for the Fourth District dismissing plaintiff's claim for compensation and a supplemental appeal from the commissioner's subsequent ruling denying plaintiff's motion for a further hearing and finding of facts. From a judgment dismissing the appeals, plaintiff appeals.

No error.


Samuel Gordon, of Stamford, for appellant (plaintiff).

Martin E. Gormley, of New Haven, for appellee (defendant).


The finding of the commissioner discloses the following facts: The plaintiff was cook and her husband butler and chauffeur in the family of their employer, Mrs. Oakes, hereinafter referred to as the defendant. As a part of the contract of employment, it was agreed that the plaintiff and her husband, Joseph, should have Thursday afternoon off each week. On the days off, Joseph was allowed to use the automobile owned by the defendant or the one owned by her daughter, but such permissive use was not part of the contract of employment. October 6, 1938, was the afternoon off for Julia and Joseph. Joseph used the automobile owned by the defendant's daughter and the plaintiff accompanied him. The defendant requested Joseph to deliver a package and mail some letters for her, which he did. He also made a number of calls on friends in the vicinity of Stamford and Norwalk. While driving back to the defendant's house in New Canaan about 8 o'clock in the evening, he was involved in an automobile accident, as a result of which the plaintiff was injured. On these facts the commissioner concluded that the plaintiff did not sustain an injury arising out of and in the course of her employment. On appeal to the Superior Court this conclusion was sustained.

The record contains numerous motions and appeals but the assignments of error can be conveniently considered under two heads, first, should the finding have been corrected, and, second, does the finding support the conclusion? There was no error in refusing to correct the finding. The witnesses contradicted each other and themselves and there were no undisputed facts to be added which would affect the result.

The vital question is whether the facts found warrant the commissioner's conclusion that the claimant did not sustain an injury arising out of and in the course of her employment. "This was a conclusion drawn by the commissioner from the subordinate facts, and the superior court could not find it to be erroneous in law, unless it was reached 'as a result of an incorrect application of some rule or principle of law to subordinate facts, or because of an inference illogically drawn from subordinate facts.'" Drouin v. Chelsea Silk Co., 122 Conn. 129, 131, 187 A. 904, 905.

"An injury to an employe is said to arise in the course of his employment when it occurs within the period of his employment, at a place where he may reasonably be, and while he is reasonably fulfilling the duties of his employment, or engaged in doing something incidental to it." Larke v. John Hancock Mutual Life Ins. Co., 90 Conn. 303, 308, 97 A. 320, 321, L.R A.1916E, 584. The plaintiff's situation satisfies none of the requirements of this general definition. Furthermore, her injuries were incurred on the highway, while she was returning to her place of employment, and these are not ordinarily compensable. De Rosa v. Levering & Garrigues Co., 111 Conn. 655, 658, 151 A. 246.

In order to come under the act, the injury must also arise out of the employment. This implies a causal connection between the employment and the injury. Larke v. John Hancock Mutual Life Ins. Co., supra, 90 Conn. 309, 97 A. 320, L.R.A. 1916E, 584; Savage v. St. Aeden's Church, 122 Conn....

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9 cases
  • Wamhoff v. Wagner Elec. Corp.
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • November 5, 1945 work on something for his own use and benefit during working hours, and is injured, such accident is not compensable: Mulligan v. Oakes, 23 A.2d 870; Smith v. Seamless Rubber Co., 150 A. 110; v. University of Rochester, 194 N.E. 856, 266 N.Y. 362; Atlantic Refining Co. v. Sheffield, 134 ......
  • Spatafore v. Yale University
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • December 3, 1996
    ...result therefrom is not sufficient to cast upon the state the obligation to compensate the plaintiff for her injury. Mulligan v. Oakes, 128 Conn. 488, 491, 23 A.2d 870 [1942]. The plaintiff's accident did not arise out of or in the course of her employment. McKiernan v. New Haven, 151 Conn.......
  • McNamara v. Hamden
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • April 25, 1978
    ...conclusion that the employer materially benefited. See Williams v. State, 152 Conn. 692, 694, 211 A.2d 700 (1965); Mulligan v. Oakes, 128 Conn. 488, 492, 23 A.2d 870 (1942). The commissioner's conclusion was not so unreasonable or illogical as to justify judicial interference. Rivera v. Gui......
  • Davis v. Goldie Motors, Inc.
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • July 1, 1942
    ...Hazard Lead Works, 105 Conn. 512, 517, 136 A. 105; De Rosa v. Levering & Garrigues Co., 111 Conn. 655, 658, 151 A. 246; Mulligan v. Oakes, 128 Conn. 488, 490, 23 A.2d 870; note 100 A.L.R. 1055. In Ohmen v. Adams Bros., 109 Conn. 378, 146 A. 825, the employee was injured in an automobile acc......
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