Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
Where an employee works in the street, a causal connection between his employment and a risk of the street is not hard to find An injury received on the street is causally related to the employment and is compensable under the workmen's compensation act. It is of no consequence whether the injury arose from ordinary risks of the street or from exceptional and uncommon risks of the street. So long as it arose out of and in the course of the employment in the sense that it had a causal connection with the employment, it is compensable.
The employee, a cab driver, suffered a minute hemorrhage after being stopped in the street and asked for help by a police officer holding three men at bay with a gun. The officer was outnumbered, and the situation was tense. The employee had trouble in talking and swallowing by the time he arrived at the police station. His condition deteriorated until he became mute and blind three days later. He was diagnosed with cerebral hemorrhage and pseudobulbar palsy; he was still unable to talk at the time of the hearings three years later. The Superior Court awarded compensation to the employee in accordance with a decision of the reviewing board of the Industrial Accident Board which affirmed and adopted the findings and decision of the single member. The single member found that the claimant was an employee of the assured on the morning of March 3, 1949. He further stated, "I find that he was not a volunteer to the police action which transpired on that morning. [This will be described hereinafter.] I find that his part was merely an ordinary risk of the street and, as such, he was still within the scope and purview of his employment as a cab driver." He also found that "These [loss of speech and paralysis] were manifestations of the personal injury arising out of and in the course of his employment." The decree declared that the claimant "did sustain a personal injury arising out of and in the course of his employment."
Did the employee’s injury arise out of and in the course of his employment?
In the instant case the employee was using the street as his workshop. While so doing he was signalled by a police officer in uniform and failure to stop would have subjected him to possible criminal prosecution and payment of a fine. He was not a volunteer. When he stopped he saw the officer holding three men at bay with a gun. The officer was outnumbered and the situation was tense. When one of the men under arrest put his hand in his pocket the officer threatened to shoot him if he did not keep his hands up. The employee was scared and he did not feel right when he got to the police station. On these facts and the testimony of the medical expert it is fair to infer that the emotional disturbance which brought about the resulting paralysis began before he started to drive to the station house at the request of the officer.