Soucier v. Genovese

Citation198 A.2d 698,151 Conn. 430
CourtSupreme Court of Connecticut
Decision Date25 February 1964
PartiesMarcel SOUCIER v. Alphonso GENOVESE et al. Supreme Court of Errors of Connecticut

Victor J. Dowling, Hartford, for the appellant (plaintiff).

Edward D. O'Brien, Hartford, for the appellees (defendants).

Before KING, C. J., and MURPHY, SHEA, ALCORN and COMLEY, JJ.

KING, Chief Justice.

The claimant sought compensation for a back injury claimed to have been sustained on April 1, 1959, while he was loading a railroad tie into a dump truck. Although he claimed to have fallen to the ground at the time, because of the pain, after a few minutes he resumed his work and did not report the injury until late in April, when an attorney, who then represented him, informed the defendant employer of the injury. The employer laid off the claimant on April 2, apparently because, on the morning of the day before, prior to the claimed injury, he had damaged a bulldozer which he was operating. Admittedly, the employer then knew nothing about a claim that an injury had been sustained on April 1. The employer and his wife, who kept her husband's books, testified that on several occasions during the year preceding the date of the claimed injury, the claimant had complained about his back and leg.

The commissioner found that the claimant had had a bad back long before April 1, 1959; that he could have hurt his back on April 1, as he claimed; and that he could have hurt his back after April 1, outside of the scope of his employment. The commissioner also stated, in his finding and award, that he 'does not believe that the claimant hurt his back while working for this employer and his claim, therefore, is dismissed'. From the award denying compensation, the claimant appealed to the Superior Court, which granted certain corrections of the finding and dismissed the appeal. From that decision the claimant has appealed to this court.

The burden was on the claimant, if he was to be awarded compensation, to prove that he sustained the back injury in the course of his employment by the defendant employer and that the injury arose out of, that is, was caused by, that employment. Triano v. United States Rubber Co., 144 Conn. 393, 396, 132 A.2d 570; Gordon v. United Aircraft Corporation, 150 Conn. 328, 329, 189 A.2d 384. The simple question before the commissioner was whether or not the claimant had sustained that burden of proof. Instead of confining his attention to that question, the commissioner included in his finding statements as to possible times when the claimant might have sustained such an injury. All this, of course, had no place in the finding, which should contain proven facts as distinguished from speculations as to possibilities. The increasing frequency of irregularities of this general type in findings is, to say the least, disquieting. See, e. g., Triano v. United States Rubber Co., supra; Nagyfy v. Miller's Stratford Provision Co., 145 Conn. 726, 727, 139 A.2d 604; D'Angelo v. Connecticut Light & Power Co., 146 Conn. 505, 507, 152 A.2d 636; Zawisza v. Quality Name Plate, Inc., 149 Conn. 115, 121, 176 A.2d 578; Gordon v. United Aircraft Corporation, supra, 150 Conn. at 330, 189 A.2d at 385.

It is obvious that the commissioner did not find, ...

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4 cases
  • Dombach v. Olkon Corp.
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • 6 June 1972
    ... ... 214, 216, 230 A.2d 604; Metall v. Aluminum Co. of America, 154 Conn. 48, 51, 221 A.2d 260; Woodley v. Rossi, 152 Conn. 1, 4, 202 A.2d 136; Soucier ... v. Genovese, 151 Conn. 430, 432, 198 A.2d 698; Gordon v. United Aircraft Corporation, 150 Conn. 328, 329, 189 A.2d 384 ...         The ... ...
  • Rivera v. I. S. Spencer's Sons, Inc.
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • 2 November 1966
    ...followed the approved practice in including in the written finding and award an explanatory memorandum of decision. Soucier v. Genovese, 151 Conn. 430, 433, 198 A.2d 698, and cases General Statutes § 31-308, the governing statute, provides that 'the commissioner may award such compensation ......
  • Miss Porter's School, Inc. v. Town Plan and Zoning Commission of Town of Farmington
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • 25 February 1964
  • Metall v. Aluminum Co. of America
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • 27 June 1966
    ...the injury (1) arose out of and (2) in the course of his employment. Woodley v. Rossi, 152 Conn. 1, 4, 202 A.2d 136; Soucier v. Genovese, 151 Conn. 430, 432, 198 A.2d 698; Gordon v. United Aircraft Corporation, 150 Conn. 328, 329, 189 A.2d 384. The act defines '(a)rising out of and in the c......

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