Sloss v. Industrial Commission

Decision Date13 November 1978
Docket NumberNo. 14011-PR,14011-PR
Citation588 P.2d 303,121 Ariz. 10
PartiesRichard M. SLOSS, Petitioner, v. The INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION of Arizona, Respondent, Arizona Department of Public Safety, Respondent Employer, State Compensation Fund, Respondent Carrier.
CourtArizona Supreme Court

Spencer K. Johnston, Phoenix, for petitioner.

John H. Budd, Jr., Chief Counsel The Industrial Commission of Arizona, Phoenix, for respondent.

Robert K. Park, Chief Counsel State Compensation Fund by George B. Morse, Phoenix, for respondent Employer and Carrier.

HOLOHAN, Justice.

Richard M. Sloss filed a claim for workmen's compensation with the Industrial Commission. After hearing the matter, the Commission made an award finding the claim noncompensable. Sloss sought review by the Court of Appeals. That court set aside the award in a memorandum decision. 1 CA-IC 1735 (filed July 18, 1978). We granted the petition for review of the State Compensation Fund. The decision of the Court of Appeals is vacated. The award of the Industrial Commission is affirmed.

The case at issue involves the question of the compensability of a disability brought about by emotional stress. Our recent decision in Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. v. Industrial Commission, 119 Ariz. 51, 579 P.2d 555 (1978), addressed the issue. In the Fireman's Fund case, this court noted that a disabling mental condition was compensable if it was an injury by accident in a work-connected activity. The term "accident" is defined in the broad sense to include any unexpected injury-causing event, so long as it is work-connected. Brock v. Industrial Commission, 15 Ariz.App. 95, 486 P.2d 207 (1971). Fireman's Fund approved the holding in Brock that physical force or exertion was not necessary to establish an injury-causing event.

Fireman's Fund does not mean that every emotional condition even though work-related is compensable. This court declined to accept the view expressed in Carter v. General Motors Corp., 361 Mich. 577, 106 N.W.2d 105 (1960), which would allow the ordinary stresses of employment to which all workers are subjected to provide a basis for workmen's compensation for a work-related disabling nervous condition. Fireman's Fund requires more than ordinary and usual job-related stress. To qualify as an injury by accident, the condition must have been produced by the unexpected, the unusual, or the extraordinary stress.

In the case at issue, Richard Sloss was a highway patrolman. His condition was diagnosed as "chronic anxiety." The emotional condition has caused a physical condition diagnosed as gastritis. Ultimately, Sloss was retired for medical reasons.

A claim was filed for compensation arising out of his last hospitalization in May, 1975. Sloss filed a second claim for his emotional condition, claiming that the first claim dealt only with his physical problem of gastritis. The hearing officer disposed of both claims because the...

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33 cases
  • Steinaker v. Sw. Airlines, Co.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Arizona
    • 16 Julio 2020
    ...laws because the notice that one might lose his or her job is not unexpected, unusual, or extraordinary); Sloss v. Industrial Comm'n , 121 Ariz. 10, 11–12, 588 P.2d 303 (1978) (holding that the mental injury allegedly suffered by a highway patrolman was not compensable when he had not been ......
  • Peters v. Michigan Bell Telephone Co., Docket Nos. 71928
    • United States
    • Michigan Supreme Court
    • 22 Noviembre 1985
    ...Sec. 42.23(b). For case law on this point see Townsend v. Maine Bureau of Public Safety, 404 A.2d 1014 (Me.1979), Sloss v. Industrial Comm., 121 Ariz. 10, 588 P.2d 303 (1978), and Swiss Colony, Inc. v. Dep't. of Industry, Labor & Human Relations, 72 Wis.2d 46, 240 N.W.2d 128 (1976).9 Carter......
  • McGarrah v. State Acc. Ins. Fund Corp.
    • United States
    • Oregon Supreme Court
    • 20 Diciembre 1983
    ...the same type of work: Fireman's Fund Ins. Co. v. Industrial Com'n, 119 Ariz. 51, 579 P.2d 555 (1978), and Sloss v. Industrial Commission, 121 Ariz. 10, 588 P.2d 303 (1978). In Fireman's Fund, claimant's mental disorder allegedly resulted from constant, psychologically intolerable work resp......
  • Matthews v. Indus. Comm'n of Ariz.
    • United States
    • Arizona Supreme Court
    • 23 Noviembre 2022
    ...Id.¶25 A few months later, the Court again took up compensation for a disability brought about by emotional stress. Sloss v. Indus. Comm'n , 121 Ariz. 10, 588 P.2d 303 (1978). Noting Fireman's Fund held that physical force was not necessary to establish injury, the Court nonetheless held th......
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