Vankirk v. State Compensation Commissioner, No. 11055

CourtSupreme Court of West Virginia
Citation108 S.E.2d 567,144 W.Va. 447
Decision Date19 May 1959
Docket NumberNo. 11055
PartiesGrace VANKIRK v. STATE COMPENSATION COMMISSIONER and Locksley Fuel Corporation (now Christopher Fuel Corporation).

Page 567

108 S.E.2d 567
144 W.Va. 447
Grace VANKIRK
v.
STATE COMPENSATION COMMISSIONER and Locksley Fuel
Corporation (now Christopher Fuel Corporation).
No. 11055.
Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.
Submitted April 21, 1959.
Decided May 19, 1959.

Page 568

Syllabus by the Court

'Where, in the course of and arising out of his employment, and employee in good health and of strong physique, suffers physical injury which is followed by serious disabilities, competent physicians differing as to whether the disabilities are attributable to the injury, but only probable or conjectural reasons or causes are assigned by physicians in an effort to explain the disabilities on grounds other than the injury, the presumptions should be resolved in favor of the employee rather than against him.' Point 1, Syllabus, Pripich v. State Compensation Commissioner, et al., 112 W.Va. 540, [166 S.E. 4].

Charles H. Haden, Morgantown, for appellant.

Clark B. Frame, Morgantown, for appellee.

GIVEN, President.

Claimant, widow of O. R. Vankirk, an employee of Locksley Fuel Corporation, claims benefits as a dependent [144 W.Va. 448] under the workmen's compensation acts. The State Compensation Commissioner held that claimant was not entitled to benefits, on his finding that the death of the employee did not result from an injury suffered in the course of his employment. The Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board reversed the order of the commissioner.

The employee, about fifty four years of age, on December 12, 1956, while in the employment of Locksley Fuel Corporation, predecessor of Christopher Fuel Corporation, in the course of such employment, suffered a severe injury to the left middle finger, necessitating the amputation of the entire finger, which was done on the twentieth day of December, 1956. The employee was granted and paid a seven per cent disability for loss of the finger. In a very short time after the finger was amputated, though the lacerations necessitated by the amputation healed uneventfully, the employee complained of paralysis and blindness, and 'became so weak that he was unable to walk or to control his fingers'. On December 31, 1956, his family physician found 'This man presented quite a problem to me. This blindness and paralysis of his arm and so forth * * *'. He was admitted to Johns Hopkins Hospital February 14, 1957, and discharged therefrom March 26, 1957. Though numerous examinations and tests were made by the hospital, the cause or origin of the affliction was undetermined. The hospital report shows that

Page 569

'certain elements in the examination are suggestive of poly-arteritis, although this diagnosis can not be substantiated'.

The employee, on August 19, 1957, was examined by Doctor Lawrance S. Miller, who states in a letter-report that 'He was brought to the office in a wheelchair, and he was found to be very severely disabled. He was unable to raise either arm, or to open his tightly clenched hands, or to stand at all by himself, and in fact, he showed an almost complete paralysis of his right leg and he was unable to move it at all.' Doctor Miller further stated: 'It was difficult to see how this patient's [144 W.Va. 449] middle finger injury of the left hand could have produced this severe amount of disability which he shows at the present time. At the present time the patient is certainly 100 percent disabled, but I could see no relationship between this and the finger amputation.' Doctor Miller, however, was unable to diagnose the...

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10 practice notes
  • Pennington v. State Workmen's Compensation Com'r, No. 12934
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • July 7, 1970
    ...that the injury was received in the course of and resulted from the employment of a claimant. Vankirk v. State Compensation Commissioner, 144 W.Va. 447, 108 S.E.2d 567; Morris v. State Compensation Commissioner, 135 W.Va. 425, 64 S.E.2d[154 W.Va. 384] 496; Pannell v. State Compensation Comm......
  • Dombrosky v. State Compensation Director, No. 12393
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • March 23, 1965
    ...of the appeal board should also be approved and confirmed under the holding of this Court in Vankirk v. State Compensation Commissioner, 144 W.Va. 447, 108 S.E.2d 567, and Pripich v. State Compensation Commissioner, 112 W.Va. 540, 166 S.E. 4. In the Pripich case, in which the medical eviden......
  • Bradford v. Workers' Compensation Com'r, No. 20047
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • September 5, 1991
    ...compensable. Evans v. State Compensation Director, 150 W.Va. 161, 144 S.E.2d 663 [ (1965) ]; Vankirk v. State Compensation Commissioner, 144 W.Va. 447, 108 S.E.2d 567 [ (1959) ]." 156 W.Va. at 762, 197 S.E.2d at This language was taken almost verbatim from Syllabus Point 3 of Evans v. State......
  • Barnett v. State Workmen's Compensation Com'r, No. 12906
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • March 3, 1970
    ...not overlooked Pripich v. State Compensation Commissioner, 112 W.Va. 540, 166 S.E. 4, and Vankirk v. State Compensation Commissioner, 144 W.Va. 447, 108 S.E.2d 567. The only syllabus point of the Vankirk case is the quotation of the first syllabus point of the Pripich case and is as follows......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
10 cases
  • Pennington v. State Workmen's Compensation Com'r, No. 12934
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • July 7, 1970
    ...that the injury was received in the course of and resulted from the employment of a claimant. Vankirk v. State Compensation Commissioner, 144 W.Va. 447, 108 S.E.2d 567; Morris v. State Compensation Commissioner, 135 W.Va. 425, 64 S.E.2d[154 W.Va. 384] 496; Pannell v. State Compensation Comm......
  • Dombrosky v. State Compensation Director, No. 12393
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • March 23, 1965
    ...of the appeal board should also be approved and confirmed under the holding of this Court in Vankirk v. State Compensation Commissioner, 144 W.Va. 447, 108 S.E.2d 567, and Pripich v. State Compensation Commissioner, 112 W.Va. 540, 166 S.E. 4. In the Pripich case, in which the medical eviden......
  • Bradford v. Workers' Compensation Com'r, No. 20047
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • September 5, 1991
    ...compensable. Evans v. State Compensation Director, 150 W.Va. 161, 144 S.E.2d 663 [ (1965) ]; Vankirk v. State Compensation Commissioner, 144 W.Va. 447, 108 S.E.2d 567 [ (1959) ]." 156 W.Va. at 762, 197 S.E.2d at This language was taken almost verbatim from Syllabus Point 3 of Evans v. State......
  • Barnett v. State Workmen's Compensation Com'r, No. 12906
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • March 3, 1970
    ...not overlooked Pripich v. State Compensation Commissioner, 112 W.Va. 540, 166 S.E. 4, and Vankirk v. State Compensation Commissioner, 144 W.Va. 447, 108 S.E.2d 567. The only syllabus point of the Vankirk case is the quotation of the first syllabus point of the Pripich case and is as follows......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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