Padilla v. Industrial Commission

Citation113 Ariz. 104,546 P.2d 1135
Decision Date09 March 1976
Docket NumberNo. 12184--PR,12184--PR
PartiesMaria PADILLA, Petitioner, v. The INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION of Arizona, Respondent, Environmental Farms, Inc., Respondent Employer, State Compensation Fund, Respondent Carrier.
CourtSupreme Court of Arizona

Davis & Eppstein, by Robert W. Eppstein, Tucson, for petitioner.

Greg L. Folger, Chief Counsel, The Industrial Commission of Arizona, Phoenix, for respondent.

Robert K. Park, Chief Counsel, State Compensation Fund, Phoenix, by George B. Morse, Tucson, for respondent employer and respondent carrier.

STRUCKMEYER, Vice Chief Justice.

Petitioner, Maria Padilla, suffered an industrial injury on May 13, 1973. She was married and although she helped to support her family, the Commission declined to award her an additional allowance of $10.00 per month for dependents as set forth in A.R.S. § 23--1045(A)(2). The Court of Appeals set aside the award. We accepted review. Opinion of the Court of Appeals, 24 Ariz.App. 42, 535 P.2d 634, vacated and the award of the Industrial Commission affirmed.

The facts are not in dispute. At the time of her injury, petitioner was married and had three minor children between the ages of ten and fifteen years, all living at home with their parents. Petitioner earned $393.28 per month and her husband $650.00 per month. The combined earnings were used to support the family.

A.R.S. § 23--1045(A) reads, in its pertinent part:

'For temporary total disability the following compensation shall be paid:

* * *

* * *

2. If there are persons residing in the United States Totally dependent for support upon the employee, compensation shall be paid as provided in this chapter with an additional allowance of ten dollars per month for such dependents during the period of disability. The additional allowance shall not be based upon a per capita number of dependents but shall reflect a total monthly benefit increase of exactly ten dollars. * * *' (Emphasis supplied)

The Commission declined as award of $10.00 a month because petitioner's three children were not 'totally dependent' upon her for support.

The phrase 'totally dependent' as used in § 23--1045 has not been defined by the Legislature. It has provided for a presumption of total dependency in the case of deceased employees in this language:

'The following persons are conclusively presumed to be totally dependent for support upon a deceased employee:

1. A wife upon a husband whom she has not voluntarily abandoned at the time of the injury.

2. A husband upon a wife whom he has not voluntarily abandoned at the time of the injury.

3. A natural, posthumous or adopted child under the age of eighteen years, or over that age if physically or mentally incapacitated from wage earning, upon the injured parent. Stepparents may be regarded as parents, if dependent, and a stepchild as a natural child if dependent.' A.R.S. § 23--1064(A).

Petitioner, while recognizing that § 23--1064(A) specifically refers to dependents of deceased employees, bases her appeal upon the premise that the same conclusive presumption should likewise apply to dependents of injured employees.

We are unable to agree.

The most basic rule of statutory construction is that in construing the legislative language, courts will not enlarge the meaning of simple English words in order to make them conform to their own peculiar sociological and economic views. Kilpatrick v. Superior Court, 105 Ariz. 413, 466 P.2d 18 (1970). And this is true even though the interpretation which the court renders is harsh...

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41 cases
  • Beynon v. Trezza
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • 13 Abril 2009
    ...(1993); see also Ariz. Water Co. v. Ariz. Dep't of Water Res., 208 Ariz. 147, ¶ 28, 91 P.3d 990, 997 (2004); Padilla v. Indus. Comm'n, 113 Ariz. 104, 106, 546 P.2d 1135, 1137 (1976) ("We do not presume the prerogative of rewriting a statute which is clear and unambiguous."). In Backus, the ......
  • Tracy v. Superior Court of Maricopa County
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arizona
    • 23 Abril 1991
    ...peculiar sociological and economic views. Kilpatrick v. Superior Court, 105 Ariz. 413, 466 P.2d 18 (1970). Padilla v. Industrial Comm'n, 113 Ariz. 104, 106, 546 P.2d 1135, 1137 (1976). Courts are not at liberty to impose their views of the way things ought to be simply because that's what m......
  • Busk v. Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. (In re Amazon.com, Inc.)
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • 19 Septiembre 2018
    ...‘[e]qually fundamental is the presumption that what the Legislature means, it will say.’ " Id. (quoting Padilla v. Industrial Comm’n, 113 Ariz. 104, 546 P.2d 1135, 1137 (Ariz. 1976) ). "For this reason, [Arizona courts] have often stated that the ‘best and most reliable index of a statute's......
  •  Priessman v. Priessman, 2 CA–CV 2011–0071.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • 18 Noviembre 2011
    ...But, “equally fundamental is the presumption that what the Legislature means, it will say.” Id., quoting Padilla v. Indus. Comm'n, 113 Ariz. 104, 106, 546 P.2d 1135, 1137 (1976). “Accordingly, absent a clear indication of legislative intent to the contrary, we are reluctant to construe the ......
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