Whitney v. Hazard Lead Works

Decision Date28 January 1927
Citation105 Conn. 512,136 A. 105
CourtConnecticut Supreme Court
PartiesWHITNEY v. HAZARD LEAD WORKS ET AL.

Appeal from Superior Court, Hartford County; Isaac Wolfe, Judge.

The following facts were found by the commissioner. The respondent employer, Hazard Lead Works, is a corporation having a factory in Brooklyn, N. Y., and offices in Hazardville, Conn., where it employs about ten persons. The plaintiff claimant is treasurer and general manager of this corporation, having a weekly salary averaging $60. She maintained two offices, one in the company's offices in Hazardville and the other at her home. Her work was done at these two offices, at her convenience, and as was calculated to promote its efficiency; sometimes her stenographer came to her office at her home to assist her. The plaintiff was bound to no regular hours, nor was her work restricted to any particular locality. Her duties frequently took her to New York and other points outside the town of Enfield, where she resided. She observed no strict routine in the performance of her work, but generally planned to go to the Hazardville office about 8 o'clock in the morning and start the work. She might remain a short time, or for the rest of the day. Sometimes she started the work in the morning and came back again in the afternoon. If she so elected, she might take time off, for personal or domestic duties, at any time during the day, or for a longer period. Her regular method of going from her home and office in her home to the offices at Hazardville was by means of an automobile. This was known to the corporation which contributed $10 a month to the maintenance of the car. Perhaps once a year, in going from her home to these offices and in returning, the plaintiff might use the street cars. On the evening of February 14, 1922, she had been busily engaged in preparing certain important work for the corporation which she completed by rising early on February 15, 1922, and working an hour or an hour and a half in the morning in finishing it. Plaintiff, taking this material in a brief case, proceeded to " " Matheson corner" to take a trolley car to these offices, and while on the public highway at this corner she slipped and fell, suffering severe injuries. The plaintiff's reasons for departing from her usual custom on this day were, first, that the trolley happened to be due for Hazardville at the time her special work was completed and she ready to start for Hazardville; second, there was a severe storm impending and her family deemed it unsafe for her to use her car; and, third, because she deemed this a safe and sure method of taking the material she had prepared to these offices. Nothing in the evidence showed that the street hazard to which the plaintiff was subjected on the morning of her injury was in excess of the hazard encountered by the ordinary wayfarer at the same time and place.

The commissioner found that the plaintiff's injury arose in the course of her employment, but did not arise out of it and that the injury suffered from the fall upon the highway was an ordinary hazard of the street.

Warren Maxwell and Allan E. Brosmith, both of Hartford, for appellants.

Frederick A. Scott, of Terryville, for appellee.

Argued before WHEELER, C.J., and CURTIS, MALTBIE, HINMAN, and SIMPSON.

WHEELER, C.J. (after stating the facts as above).

The commissioner held that the plaintiff claimant's injury arose in the course of, but did not arise out of, her employment, and accordingly dismissed the claim. The plaintiff appealed, assigning as one of the errors of the commissioner his holding that her injury did not arise out of her employment. The defendants did not attempt to have the commissioner's holding that the plaintiff's injury arose in the course of her employment reviewed. The superior court sustained the appeal of the plaintiff and held that the commissioner erred in holding that the plaintiff's injury did not arise out of her employment.

From this holding the defendants have appealed. The only question we are called upon to decide is whether, upon the facts found by the commissioner, the plaintiff's injury did arise out of her employment.

" An injury arises out of an employment when it occurs in the course of the employment and is the result of a risk involved in the employment or incident to it, or to the conditions under which it is required to be performed. The injury is thus a natural or necessary consequence or incident of the employment or of the conditions under which it is carried on. Sometimes the employment will be found to directly cause the injury, but more often it arises out of the conditions incident to the employment. But in every case there must be apparent some causal connection between the injury and the employment or the conditions under which it is required to be performed, before the injury can be found to arise out of the employment." Marchiatello v. Lynch Realty Co., 94 Conn. 260, 263, 108 A. 799; Harivel v. Hall-Thompson Co., 98 Conn. 753, 757, 758, 120 A. 603, 604.

The injury, to arise out of the employment, must arise in the course of the employment. Regardless of whether the commissioner has found that the injury did arise in the course of the employment, the facts found must show this to be the necessary inference, otherwise it cannot be held that the injury did so arise. In Larke v Hancock Mutual Life Ins. Co., 90 Conn. 308, 97 A. 321 (L. R. A. 1916E, 584), we define and explain the meaning of arising in the course of the employment:

" An injury to an employee is said to arise in the course of his employment when it occurs within the period of his employment, at a place where he may reasonably be, and while he is reasonably fulfilling the duties of his employment, or engaged in doing something incidental to it." Harivel v. Hall-Thompson Co., 98 Conn 753, 755, 120 A. 603.

The tests to be applied are: Does the injury occur within the period of the employment? Does it occur in a place where the employee may reasonably be? Does it occur while he is reasonably fulfilling the duties of his employment? The facts found do not bring the plaintiff claimant within either of these tests. We turn first to the facts found to ascertain whether the plaintiff was in the course of her...

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  • Sarrazin v. Coastal, Inc.
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • 29 de abril de 2014
    ...entirely within his discretion, unfettered by any control or power of control on the part of the employer.”); Whitney v. Hazard Lead Works, 105 Conn. 512, 517, 136 A. 105 (1927) (“[t]he employees of a business concern cannot, as a general rule, be regarded as in the course of their employme......
  • Pillen v. Workmen's Comp. Bureau
    • United States
    • North Dakota Supreme Court
    • 23 de fevereiro de 1931
    ...138 A. 561. This general rule is subject to certain definite classes of exceptions. They are well set forth in Whitney v. Hazard Lead Works et al., 105 Conn. 512, 136 A. 105. Four of them may be noted: (1) Where the employment requires the employee to travel on the highway; (2) where the em......
  • In re Claim of Jensen
    • United States
    • Wyoming Supreme Court
    • 1 de abril de 1947
    ... ... and does furnish transportation to and from work.' ... Whitney v. Hazard Lead Works, 105 Conn. 512, 518, ... 136 A. 105; Flanagan v ... ...
  • Pillen v. The Workmen's Compensation Bureau of State
    • United States
    • North Dakota Supreme Court
    • 23 de fevereiro de 1931
    ... ... exceptions. They are well set forth in Whitney v. Hazard ... Lead Works, 105 Conn. 512, 136 A. 105. Four of them may ... ...
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