Woodley v. Rossi

CourtSupreme Court of Connecticut
Citation202 A.2d 136,152 Conn. 1
Decision Date23 June 1964
PartiesJoyce WOODLEY v. Joseph T. ROSSI et al. Supreme Court of Errors of Connecticut

DeLancey Pelgrift, Hartford, for appellant (plaintiff).

Walter M. Pickett, Jr., Waterbury, for appellees (defendants).

Before KING, C. J., MURPHY, ALCORN and COMLEY, JJ., and HOUSE, Acting justice.

KING, Chief Justice.

Frank Woodley, the deceased husband of the claimant, hereinafter referred to as the decedent, was killed about 8 o'clock in the evening of March 21, 1958, while he was operating the named defendant's truck, which went off the road and overturned. The named defendant will hereinafter be referred to as the defendant.

The decedent was employed by the defendant to operate the truck in hauling timber to Higganum, Connecticut, from various woodlots, including one in Norfolk, Connecticut. The decedent was paid on a trip, rather than on an hourly, basis. His home was in South Deerfield, Massachusetts. When drawing timber from the Norfolk lot, the decedent sometimes went home at night and at other times took a room in a hotel in Winsted so that he would be convenient to the Norfolk lot. When he was drawing timber from that lot and was also spending the night at his home in South Deerfield, it was, by understanding with the defendant, the decedent's custom to leave the truck at a gasoline station in Avon and thence drive home in his personal car, which he left at the station while at work during the day. The commissioner did not find, and was not required to find, that the decedent intended to spend the night in question in Winsted.

On March 21, 1958, he left home at about 7 o'clock in the morning, drove to Avon, took the truck, which he had left the night before fully loaded with timber from the Norfolk lot, and started out to deliver the load at the defendant's plant in Higganum. That same morning, John F. Hagel, general foreman of the defendant, started from Middletown, where the defendant's business office was located, to go to Norfolk with the payroll. Hagel knew that there was not enough cut timber left on the Norfolk lot for another load, that the weather was bad and that there would be no cutting that day. At about 9:30 a. m., Hagel intercepted the decedent on the road, gave him his paycheck, told him there would be no cutting that day at Norfolk because of deep snow, and instructed him to complete the delivery in Higganum and lay off for the day. The decedent completed the delivery, and it was expected that he would return the truck to Avon, where his day's work would terminate.

The decedent drove back to Avon but continued on with the truck to Winsted. The truck was next seen parked in front of a hotel in Winsted about 5:30 p. m. Otherwise, the decedent's activities between the time he drove through Avon and about 7 o'clock in the evening are unknown. At that time Edward Platt came upon the decedent in a diner near the hotel, and they arranged to eat dinner together at the Brookside Restaurant on the road from Winsted to Avon, after which the decedent said he would continue on with the truck to Avon, leave it, and drive home in his own car. Platt and the decedent left the diner about 7:30 p. m. The accident occurred, and the decedent met his death, before he reached the Brookside Restaurant.

The commissioner concluded that the claimant failed to sustain her burden of proving that after passing through Avon with the empty truck on the return from Higganum the decedent was acting in the course of his employment or was doing anything in furtherance of his employer's business; or that the accident and resulting death arose in the course of, or out of, the employment.

The burden was on the claimant to prove that the accident and the resulting death arose not only in the course of but also out of the employment. Each element is essential in the proof of a compensable injury. Gordon v. United Aircraft Corporation, 150 Conn. 328, 329, 189 A.2d 384; Herbst v. Hat Corporation of America, 130 Conn. 1, 4, 31 A.2d 329. An injury to an employee arises in the course of his employment 'when it occurs within the period of his employment, at a place where he...

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13 cases
  • Dombach v. Olkon Corp.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • 6 Junio 1972
    ...River Valley, Inc., 155 Conn. 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......
  • Rawling v. City of New Haven
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • 26 Enero 1988
    ...employee who substantially deviates from the duties of his employment, however, forfeits his right to compensation. Woodley v. Rossi, 152 Conn. 1, 5, 202 A.2d 136 (1964). The question of deviation is typically one of fact for the trier. Labbe v. American Brass Co., 132 Conn. 606, 609-10, 46......
  • Carter v. Burn Const. Co., Inc.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of New Mexico
    • 26 Enero 1973
    ...responsibility attaches. Lockwood v. Board of Trustees, Speedway Meth. Ch., 144 Ind.App. 430, 246 N.E.2d 774 (1969); Woodley v. Rossi, 152 Conn. 1, 202 A.2d 136 (1964). Very minor deviations are disregarded or considered as part of the employment agreement. Sullivan v. Rainbo Baking Company......
  • Adzima v. UAC/Norden Division
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • 20 Marzo 1979
    ...disability. See Hills v. Servicemaster of Connecticut River Valley, Inc., 155 Conn. 214, 216, 230 A.2d 604 (1967); Woodley v. Rossi, 152 Conn. 1, 4, 202 A.2d 136 (1964). In these circumstances, extending Menzies to apply to disability claims would place upon the employer the burden of inves......
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