Paul v. Glidden Co.

Decision Date20 December 1944
Docket Number47.
Citation39 A.2d 544,184 Md. 114
PartiesPAUL v. GLIDDEN CO.
CourtMaryland Court of Appeals

Appeal from Court of Common Pleas of Baltimore City; J. Craig McLanahan, Judge.

Proceedings under the Workmen's Compensation Act, Code 1939, art 101, § 1 et seq., by Amos Paul, employee, opposed by the Glidden Company (Chemical and Pigment Division), employer and self-insurer. From a judgment affirming in part and reversing in part decision of the Industrial Accident Commission, the employer appeals.

Order of Court of Common Pleas reversed and order of Industrial Accident Commission confirmed.

Robert P. McGuinn and George W. Evans, both of Baltimore (Linwood G. Koger, of Baltimore, on the brief), for appellant.

Roszel C. Thomsen and Robert H. Engle, both of Baltimore (Clark Thomsen & Smith, of Baltimore, on the brief), for appellee.

Before MARBURY, C.J., and DELAPLAINE, COLLINS, GRASON, MELVIN BAILEY, CAPPER, and HENDERSON, JJ.

MARBURY Chief Judge.

Appellant was working for the Glidden Company, the appellee, when he had the accident, hereinafter referred to, on January 28 1943. He was at that time 44 years old. When he was 19 he had an accident in which he lost entirely the first and second fingers of his left hand. The accident on January 28, 1943, was to the third and fourth fingers of the same hand. As a result of this last accident, he suffered permanent partial disability of the hand. The question in this case is how the amount of that disability is to be calculated in view of the provisions of article 101, section 48, of Flack's Annotated Code, which is part of the Workmen's Compensation Act. The State Industrial Accident Commission found that he was disabled to the extent of 45% of the use of his left hand, and that, therefore, he was entitled to compensation at the rate of $18 a week for a period of 74.7 weeks. On appeal, the case was heard in the Court of Common Pleas, before the Court without a jury. It modified the award of the Commission to a period of 13.8 weeks, basing this conclusion upon a calculation made as a result of an interpretation of the statute. From the judgment, affirming in part and reversing in part the decision of the Commission, the appeal comes here.

The injuries to appellant were lacerations of the left ring and little fingers, with a fracture of the last phalanx of the ring finger. A calculation based upon loss of use of the fingers separately could be made, but under the decision of this Court in the case of Lisowsky v. White, 177 Md. 377, 9 A.2d 599, the compensation should be based upon a fractional loss of use of the hand, rather than upon the total amount payable for the fingers separately, on the theory that the higher element or measure of damage in workmen's compensation cases should be accorded to the injured person. The medical testimony is that prior to the accident of January 28, 1943, the appellant had an existing disability of 40% loss of use of his left hand; that subsequent to the accident of January 28, 1943, he had a disability of 45% loss of use of the hand. The Court held that appellant entered his present employment with a 60% hand, rather than a 100% hand, and applied that part of article 101, section 48, contained in the unnumbered paragraph following paragraph (4). This provides that whenever it shall appear that any disability is due in part to an accidental injury and in part to a pre-existing infirmity, the Commission shall determine the proportion of the disability reasonably attributable to the injury, and the proportion reasonably attributable to the pre-existing infirmity, and the employee shall be entitled to compensation for that proportion of his disability which is reasonably attributable solely to the accident, and shall not be entitled to compensation for that proportion of his disability which is reasonably attributable to the pre-existing infirmity. The method of application made by the Court was that the appellant suffered a 5% loss of use as a result of the injury, but considering his 60% hand as if it were a 100% hand, a 5% loss of use of a 60% hand is one-twelfth, and one-twelfth of 100% is 81/3%. That percentage of 166 weeks, which is the provision in the statute for total loss of a hand, gave appellant 13.8 weeks, instead of 74.7 weeks.

There is another provision in article 101, section 48, which is an unnumbered paragraph following subparagraph (1). It reads as follows: 'Whenever any person who has suffered the loss or loss of use of a hand, arm, foot, leg or eye, shall enter into a contract of employment, it shall be permissible for the employee to waive in writing, either in the contract of employment, or by a separate written instrument, any right to compensation to which he would be entitled because of the pre-existing permanent partial disability, in the event of subsequent accidental injury, and in such cases the employee so suffering an additional accidental injury, shall be entitled to the compensation for the disability resulting solely from such additional accidental injury. No such waiver shall be effective unless the pre-existing permanent partial disability shall be plainly described therein, nor unless the same be executed by the employee with knowledge of its contents prior to the time of the accident upon...

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5 cases
  • Doe v. Buccini Pollin Group Inc. D/B/A Pm Hospitality Strategies Inc.
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • 3 October 2011
    ...when under the law as it previously existed, such workmen could not recover damages for their injuries.” Paul v. Glidden Co., 184 Md. 114, 119, 39 A.2d 544, 546 (1944). Breitenbach v. N.B. Handy Co., 366 Md. 467, 474, 784 A.2d 569 (2001). In Breitenbach, the Court of Appeals stated that, wh......
  • Bata Shoe Co. v. Chvojan
    • United States
    • Maryland Court of Appeals
    • 18 March 1947
    ... ... and John S. Bainbridge, both of Baltimore ... (Brodnax Cameron, of Bel Air, on the brief), for appellants ...          Paul ... Berman, of Baltimore (Sigmund Levin and Theodore B. Berman, ... both of Baltimore, on the brief), for appellee ...          Before ... uncompensated ...          We ... think the decision in the case at bar is controlled by the ... recent case of Paul v. Glidden Co., 184 Md. 114, 39 ... A.2d 544, 546. In that case the claimant had had a prior ... accidental injury in which he lost the first and second ... ...
  • Anderson v. Bd. Of Educ. Of Montgomery County, 2853 Sept.Term
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • 6 May 2010
    ...when under the law as it previously existed, such workmen could not recover damages for their injuries.” Paul v. Glidden Co., 184 Md. 114, 119, 39 A.2d 544, 546 (1944). Breitenbach v. N.B. Handy Co., 366 Md. 467, 474, 784 A.2d 569 (2001).In Breitenbach, the Court of Appeals stated that, whe......
  • Townsend v. Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard, Inc.
    • United States
    • Maryland Court of Appeals
    • 14 May 1946
    ...to refer to two other recent cases, both also involving the Workmen's Compensation Law. The first of these is Paul v. Glidden Co., 184 Md. 114, 39 A.2d 544, 546, in which it was claimed that the construction which ultimately adopted by this Court of certain sections of the Act, would produc......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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