Sloss-Sheffield Steel & Iron Co. v. Metropolitan Cas. Ins. Co. of New York, 6 Div. 201.

CourtAlabama Court of Appeals
Citation185 So. 395,28 Ala.App. 366
Docket Number6 Div. 201.
PartiesSLOSS-SHEFFIELD STEEL & IRON CO. v. METROPOLITAN CASUALTY INS. CO. OF NEW YORK.
Decision Date04 October 1938

Rehearing Denied Nov. 8, 1938.

Appeal from Circuit Court, Jefferson County; John Denson, Judge.

Certiorari denied by Supreme Court in Sloss Sheffield Steel & Iron Co. v. Metropolitan Casualty Ins. Co., 6 Div. 425, 185 So. 399.

Action by the Metropolitan Casualty Insurance Company of New York against the Sloss-Sheffield Steel & Iron Company, to recover money paid as compensation insurance carrier. From a judgment for plaintiff, defendant appeals.

Affirmed.

In action by subrogee of injured employee to recover sums paid under workmen's compensation law to employee of independent contractor as result of defendant's negligence where it was not proven that defendant at time of employee's injury was subject to the workmen's compensation law and it appeared that defendant was an employer, it would be presumed that defendant was subject to the workmen's compensation law in absence of evidence to the contrary. Code 1940, Tit. 26, §§ 273, 275, 311.

Count 2 of the amended complaint is as follows:

"Count 2. Plaintiff claims of defendant the sum of, to-wit $2,180.86 (Two Thousand One Hundred Eighty and 86/100 Dollars) and for its cause of action shows unto the Court the following, to-wit:
"On or about, to-wit, the 12th day of January, 1934, the plaintiff was the insurance carrier of one Brantley and Company, painting contractors, which Brantley and Company on said date was engaged in performing certain work in and about the painting of sheds and buildings of the defendant company in Jefferson County, Alabama, under and by virtue of a contract between said Brantley and Company and defendant company.
"Plaintiff avers that on said date said Brantley and Company, in so far as injuries to its employees arising out of and in the course of their employment was concerned, was subject to Article 2 of the Workmen's Compensation Act of Alabama and the plaintiff was the insurance carrier of said Brantley and Company, insuring said Brantley and Company against all claims of its employees under Article 2 of the Workmen's Compensation Act.
"Plaintiff further shows that on, to-wit, the 12th day of January, 1934, the defendant was subject to article 2 of the Workmen's Compensation Act.
"Brantley and Company on said date of January 12th, 1934, had in its employ one E. J. Vincent, who, on said date, sustained injuries which arose out of and in the course of his employment, which injuries resulted from and were caused under circumstances also creating a legal liability for damages on the part of defendant. Said E. J. Vincent thereafter elected to claim compensation of his said employer and plaintiff, as said employer's insurance carrier, paid E. J. Vincent compensation payments to which he was entitled under the Compensation Law of Alabama, liability for which payments was made final by decree of the Circuit Court of the Tenth Judicial Circuit of Alabama by that certain decree entered on, to-wit, December 7th, 1934.
"Wherefore, Plaintiff under and by virtue of Section 7586 of the Code of Alabama became subrogated to the right of said E. J. Vincent to bring legal proceedings against defendant to recover the aggregate amount of compensation payable by it as insurance carrier of said Brantley

and Company, together with the costs of this action and a further sum of Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00) as attorney's fee for prosecuting this action.

"Plaintiff further shows that the contract under which said Brantley and Company was performing the work described for defendant company was in words and figures as set forth in Exhibit "A" attached to this amended complaint, and made a part hereof.

"Plaintiff avers that the circumstances creating a legal liability for damages on the part of defendant in causing the aforesaid injuries to said Vincent, consisted in this to-wit:
"Defendant negligently maintained a wire or series of wires, commonly known as high tension wires, being wires charged with large and dangerous quantities of electricity, which said wires were suspended over and across a building known as defendant's Round House, the roof of which said Vincent was required to work upon under and by virtue of his said employment by Brantley and Company in the performance of the contract made Exhibit 'A' to the complaint. Plaintiff further alleges that said wires were negligently maintained at a very low and dangerous height above the roof of said Round House, which Round House and the roof thereof was of a steel construction of such a nature as to constitute a conductor of electricity from said wires to the ground, should said wires come in contact with persons working upon said roof, or so close to persons working on said roof as to cause the electricity in said wires to arc or jump from said wires to said roof or persons working thereon. On to-wit January 12, 1934 said Vincent while working upon defendant's Round House roof as aforesaid, while passing or attempting to pass underneath said wires was injured as follows, to-wit, a current of electricity arced or jumped from said wires to the back of his neck and head as he was stooping to pass under said wires, burning and throwing him from said roof, inflicting the injuries for which plaintiff, as insurance carrier of Brantley & Company has paid, is paying and is liable to continue to pay under decree of this Court in that certain cause #88306. Plaintiff further says that Vincent had not been warned of the dangerous currents of electricity borne by said wires, but on the other hand had been assured by his immediate superiors that the current in said wires were not dangerous; and further avers that said injuries to said Vincent were proximately caused by the negligence of defendant aforesaid.
"Wherefore, plaintiff, under and by virtue of section 7586 of the Code of Alabama became subrogated to the right of E. J. Vincent to bring legal proceedings against defendant to recover the aggregate amount of compensation payable by it as insurance carrier of said Brantley and Company, together with the costs of this action and a further sum of $250.00 as attorneys fee for prosecuting this action.
"Hence this suit."

The contract, made exhibit A to the complaint, between Brantley & Company, "Contractor", and Sloss-Sheffield Steel & Iron Company, "Owner", provides in substance as follows:

"Contractor proposes and agrees to furnish all labor, tools and equipment, including scaffolding necessary to clean and paint with one coat of paint, brush or spray method, as instructed by Owner's representative in charge, the surfaces of the following units of Owner's North Birmingham Furnaces, towit: * * *

"Owner agrees to furnish all paint necessary for the work.

"Contractor agrees to commence work immediately and to complete same not later than December 25, 1933.

"Contractor agrees to do all work in a neat and workmanlike manner and subject to the approval of owner's representative in charge.

"Contractor shall have entire charge of all details of this work, shall hire, discharge and superintend his own labor, and further agrees to assume all liability for personal injuries which may be suffered by any of his employes while on Owner's premises, including any liability for compensation for injuries or disablements under the Workmen's Compensation Law of the State of Alabama, except injuries or disablements to the employes of the Contractor directly caused by the acts of the agents and servants of the Sloss-Sheffield Steel & Iron Company.

"Contractor agrees to assume all public liability which may arise in connection with this paint work."

The contract further stipulates the price of the work and time for payment.

Bradley Baldwin,...

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6 cases
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  • Metropolitan Casualty Ins. Co. of New York v. Sloss-Sheffield Steel & Iron Co., 6 Div. 802.
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  • Griffin v. State, 4 Div. 425.
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