Proctor-Silex Corp. v. DeBrick

Decision Date09 May 1969
Docket NumberNo. 253,PROCTOR-SILEX,253
Citation253 Md. 477,252 A.2d 800
PartiesCORPORATION et al. v. Ann Mae DeBRICK.
CourtMaryland Court of Appeals

G. Joseph Sills, Jr., Baltimore (R. Roger Drechsler, Baltimore, on the brief) for appellants.

Joel H. Pachino, Baltimore (Irvin S. Friedman and Myles F. Friedman, Baltimore, on the brief) for appellee.

Before HAMMOND, C. J., and MARBURY, McWILLIAMS, FINAN and SMITH, JJ.

SMITH, Judge.

The sole question presented in this appeal is whether appellee, Mrs. DeBrick, sustained an accidental personal injury arising out of and in the course of her employment with Proctor-Silex Corporation (Proctor) on Monday, January 24, 1966. 1 Judge Jenifer in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County answered in the affirmative. We shall sustain his action.

Mrs. DeBrick had been an employee of Proctor for a number of months prior to the date of the accident. On that morning she drove her car to a parking lot leased by Proctor. It is located in Baltimore County across Coolidge Avenue from Proctor's plant. The south end of the parking lot is on a direct line with the north end of the plant building where Mrs. DeBrick did her work. There had been snow the prior weekend. Mrs. DeBrick arrived between 7:30 and 7:45 A.M. on the morning in question. Her starting time was 8:00 A.M. Under plant regulations she was not permitted to 'punch-in' earlier than eighteen minutes prior to her starting time. She was paid on the basis of time punched on the clock.

The snow had been removed from the parking lot, permitting employees to park on it. Upon arriving on the parking lot Mrs. DeBrick walked diagonally across Coolidge Avenue and then in a southerly direction on the pavement provided for pedestrian traffic in front of her employer's plant to a point somewhere between the entrance to the office of the plant and the entrance provided for the employees. At this location she slipped and fell on the ice thus causing the injury about which complaint is here made.

This matter arises under Code (1964 Repl. Vol.) Art. 101, § 15 which provides in pertinent part:

'Every employer subject to the provisions of this article, shall pay * * * compensation * * * for the disability * * * of his employee resulting from an accidental personal injury sustained by the employee arising out of and in the course of his employment without regard to fault as a cause of such injury * * *.'

In Department of Correction v. Harris, 232 Md. 180, 192 A.2d 479 (1963) Judge (now Chief Judge) Hammond for this Court said:

'A claimant of compensation, to be successful, must show an injury due to an accident arising both out of, and in the course of, his employment. It has been said that the words 'out of' refer to the cause or origin of the accident, while the phrase 'in the course of' refers to the time, place and circumstances under which it occurs. There must be a causal connection between the conditions under which the work is required to be done and the ensuing injury. The causative danger must be incidental to the nature of the work and not independent of the relation of master and servant. This is to say that the injury arises out of employment when it results from some obligation, condition or incident of the employment, under the circumstances of the particular case. Scherr v. Miller, 229 Md. 538, 543, 184 A.2d 916; Perdue v. Brittingham, 186 Md. 393, 402, 47 A.2d 491.

'An injury arises in the course of employment when it happens during the period of employment at a place where the employee reasonably may be in the performance of his duties 'and while he is fulfilling those duties or engaged in something incident thereto.' Inquiries pertinent in this regard include: When did the period of employment begin? When did it end? When was its continuity broken? How far did the employee, during the period of employment, place himself outside the employment? Watson v. Grimm, 200 Md. 461, 466, 90 A.2d 180.' Id. at 183-184, 192 A.2d at 481.

In Harris the claimant, an inmate of the penitentiary, had been employed at the sewing shop. He left his machine for a personal errand. He was denied compensation, the continuity of his employment having been broken, this Court having stated:

'The medical treatment he left work to get was not the equivalent of a break from work for rest, relief or refreshment. It had no more relation to his work than any medical care has in keeping an employee in good enough health generally to be able to work or continue to work.' Id. 184-185, 192 A.2d at 482.

Giant Food, Inc. v. Gooch, 245 Md. 160, 225 A.2d 431 (1967) was a parking lot case where a parking lot attendant arrived on his employer's parking lot and was in the process of locking his car when he was accosted by an individual who believed him to be the paramour of the assailant's wife. The employee fled and was shot behind the food store of his employer. Chief Judge Hammond there said for this Court:

'We think it clear that the commission and the reviewing court could have found that the injury occurred in the course of Gooch's employment. He was on the parking lot on which he regularly worked and was but minutes away from actually engaging in his regular duties, when he was interrupted by Jones. 'An employee is in the course of his employment where he is injured before the hour of work while on the premises for the purpose of engaging in the day's work.' Rice v. Revere Copper & Brass, Inc., 186 Md. 561, 566, 48 A.2d 166. See also Maryland Paper Products Co. v. Judson, 215 Md. 577, 139 A.2d 219.' Id. at 162, 225 A.2d at 432.

In Gooch liability of the employer was established on the statutory basis of the willful or negligent act of a third person directed against the employee while in the course of his employment, and not on the basis of an injury arising out of the employment.

In Rice v. Revere Copper and Brass, Inc., 186 Md. 561, 48

A.2d 166 (1946), to which reference was made in Gooch, Judge (later Chief Judge) Henderson said for this Court:

'We hold that an employee is in the course of his employment where he is injured before the hour of work while on the premises for the purpose of engaging in the day's work. * * *

'The crucial question is whether the injury 'arose out of' the employment. Rice did not 'step aside from his employment,' as in the Hill case, supra, but it is still necessary to find a causal connection between the employment and the injury. 'The mere fact that the work caused his association with the other man is not sufficient.' Hill v. Liberty Motor & Engineering Co., 185 Md. 596, 613, 47 A.2d 43; Perdue v. Brittingham, 186 Md. 393, 47 A.2d 491, and cases cited.

'We think the injury in the instant case was not attributable to the working environment.' Id. at 566, 48 A.2d at 168.

In Rice a fellow employee walked over with a shovel and struck Rice a blow, fracturing his skull and causing his death. The case was decided prior to the statutory addition, which is discussed fully in Gooch, supra.

The general rule in matters such as in the instant case is as stated in 1 Larson, Workmen's Compensation Law § 15.14 (1968):

'One category in which compensation is almost always awarded is that in which the employee travels along or across a public road between two portions of his employer's premises, whether going and coming, or pursuing his active duties.

'Since, as shown later, a parking lot owned or maintained by the employer is treated by most courts as part of the premises, the majority rule is that an injury in a public street or other off-premises place between the plant and the parking lot is in the course of employment, being on a necessary route between the two portions of the premises. But if the parking lot is a purely private one, the principle of passage between two parts of the premises is not available, and an employee crossing a public street to get to the parking lot is not protected.' (emphasis added)

At § 15.41, it is further stated:

'As to parking lots owned by the employer, or maintained by the employer for his employees, the great majority of jurisdictions consider them part of the 'premises,' whether within the main company premises or separated from it.' (emphasis added)

Proctor takes comfort from Salomon v. Springfield Hospital, 250 Md. 150, 242 A.2d 126 (1968), as well as from Harris, supra. As previously indicated, Harris is distinguishable on its facts. Salomon is likewise distinguishable. There Judge Marbury said for the Court:

'The final contention of the appellant is that she had actually entered the hospital grounds and was therefore covered under the 'on the premises' exception to the going and coming rule. While we recognize that ordinarily an employee who had arrived on his employer's premises as usual, in preparation for beginning his day's work, is considered to be on the premises and therefore covered by workmen's compensation even though his actual employment has not begun, we also recognize that 'premises' does not necessarily include all property owned by an employer. Dept. of Correction v. Harris, 232 Md. 180, 186, 192 A.2d 479; E. I. DuPont de Nemourts Co. v. Hall, 237 F.2d 145; Bennett v. Vanderbilt University, 198 Tenn. 1, 277 S.W.2d 386.

'In the instant case, although the claimant had entered the south gate of the hospital, she had not reached that part of the hospital grounds where her duties of employment were carried on. Mrs. Salomon was employed in a supervisory capacity as head of the social service department. The record before us indicates that none of her duties was expected to be performed in the area where she was injured.' Id. at 155, 242 A.2d at 129.

Proctor also derives comfort from the fact that in Salomon and in Harris this Court cited Bennett v. Vanderbilt University, 198 Tenn. 1, 277 S.W.2d 386 (1955). In that case compensation was denied where an individual sustained injuries on a parking lot belonging to her employer located across the street from the employer's...

To continue reading

Request your trial
36 cases
  • Maryland Cas. Co. v. Lorkovic
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1993
    ...traveling along or across a public road between two portions of the employer's premises. Wiley Mfg., 280 Md. at 206; Proctor-Silex v. DeBrick, 253 Md. 477, 482 (1969). 3. "The 'proximity' exception allows compensation for an injury sustained off-premises, but while the employee is exposed t......
  • Knoche v. Cox
    • United States
    • Maryland Court of Appeals
    • April 25, 1978
    ...of his duties and while he is fulfilling those duties or engaged in doing something incident thereto." See Proctor-Silex v. De Brick, 253 Md. 477, 480, 252 A.2d 800 (1969); Pariser Bakery, 239 Md. at 590, 212 A.2d 324; Harris, 232 Md. at 184, 192 A.2d 479. As the injury to Mrs. Cox happened......
  • Barnes v. Children's Hosp.
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1995
    ...cause or origin of the accident. Wiley Manufacturing Co. v. Wilson, 280 Md. 200, 205, 373 A.2d 613 (1977); Proctor-Silex Corp. v. DeBrick, 253 Md. 477, 480, 252 A.2d 800 (1969). Although no exact formula for the matter exists, an injury arises out of employment if it results from the nature......
  • Wiley Mfg. Co. v. Wilson
    • United States
    • Maryland Court of Appeals
    • April 27, 1977
    ...accident, while the words 'in the course of' relate to the time, place and circumstances under which it occurs. Proctor-Silex v. DeBrick, 253 Md. 477, 480, 252 A.2d 800 (1969); Dep't of Correction v. Harris, 232 Md. 180, 183, 192 A.2d 479 (1963). We are concerned here with the 'course of em......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
3 books & journal articles
  • Injuries Covered By the Act
    • United States
    • Maryland State Bar Association Workers' Compensation Manual (MSBA) Chapter One The Maryland Workers' Compensation Act
    • Invalid date
    ...aff'd, 307 Md. 692, 517 A.2d 71 (1986).[91] Roberts v. Montgomery Cty., 436 Md. 591, 84 A.3d 87 (2014); Proctor-Silex Corp. v. DeBrick, 253 Md. 477, 252 A.2d 800 (1969); Wiley Mfg. Co. v. Wilson, 30 Md. App. 87, 351 A.2d 487 (1976), aff'd, 280 Md. 200, 373 A.2d 613 (1977).[92] Sparrow v. Lo......
  • Injuries Covered By the Act
    • United States
    • Maryland State Bar Association Workers' Compensation Manual (MSBA) (2024 Ed.) Chapter One The Maryland Workers' Compensation Act
    • Invalid date
    ...aff'd, 307 Md. 692, 517 A.2d 71 (1986).[91] Roberts v. Montgomery Cty., 436 Md. 591, 84 A.3d 87 (2014); Proctor-Silex Corp. v. DeBrick, 253 Md. 477, 252 A.2d 800 (1969); Wiley Mfg. Co. v. Wilson, 30 Md. App. 87, 351 A.2d 487 (1976), aff'd, 280 Md. 200, 373 A.2d 613 (1977).[92] Sparrow v. Lo......
  • Table of Cases
    • United States
    • Maryland State Bar Association Workers' Compensation Manual (MSBA) Table of Cases
    • Invalid date
    ...198, 51 A.3d 544 (2012)...........................................................................4, 6, 14 Proctor-Silex Corp. v. DeBrick, 253 Md. 477, 252 A.2d 800 (1969)............................................................................................ 16 Prop. & Cas. Ins. Guar. ......

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