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DELTA C. & S. AIRLINES et al. v. PERRY et al.
36183.
Workmen's compensation. Before Judge Wood. Fulton Superior Court. January 26, 1956.
QUILLIAN, J.
The superior court judge did not err in sustaining the award of the Deputy Director of the State Board of Workmen's Compensation.
Alma Fletcher Perry, as widow of Alfred W. Perry, Jr., and guardian of Thomas Wiley Perry, filed with the State Board of Workmen's Compensation a claim for compensation against Delta C. & S. Airlines and its insurance carrier, the Employer's Mutual Insurance Company of Wisconsin.
Airlines; that he was married and had one minor child; that for several weeks prior to his death the deceased had complained of headaches and pains in his stomach; that on the morning of his death he had not complained of not feeling well prior to his arrival at work; that after arriving at his job he performed his duties, walking to the carpenter shed which was approximately fifty feet from his usual place of work and obtaining about six pieces of lumber which were from 2 1/2 to 3 feet long, weighing about 4 or 5 pounds each, and carried them back to his place of work; that he walked across the hangar which was about 200 feet wide and obtained screws to be used in his work and carried them back to his place of work; that he assisted two other men lift a landing gear cylinder which weighed about 130 pounds from the floor to a height of 2 1/2 or 3 feet to a dolly on which the deceased was working; that he slid this 130-pound cylinder back and forth on the dolly; that he drilled holes with an electric drill through blocks of wood and screwed the blocks to the dolly; that the deceased first complained of pain in his stomach or chest while he was drilling holes with the electric drill, complained the remainder of the morning and ate very little lunch, and shortly after lunch stated he was going to see a doctor; that he went to the wash basin and took two pills; that his face was flush at this time; and that he went to the lobby of the Delta C. & S. Airlines office and collapsed, dying soon thereafter.
Dr. Edmond Green and Dr. Thomas E. McArthur testified in part that in their opinion the death of claimant's husband was caused by coronary occlusion, and that his exertion while on his job was sufficient to be the precipitating cause of the coronary occlusion which caused death. While both of these medical witnesses testified on cross-examination that to ascertain as a matter of certainty that the occlusion caused Mr. Perry's death an autopsy was necessary, neither retracted his testimony that Mr. Perry suffered an occlusion resulting in his death. Likewise, both doctors admitted that the precipitating cause of the occlusion might have been something other than the exertion incident to Mr. Perry's work. They both, however, adhered to their original testimony that the exertion, in their opinion, did bring on the occlusion.
The Deputy Director of the Workmen's Compensation Board found an award in favor of the claimant. The defendant and its insurance carrier appealed the case to the superior court, which affirmed the award, and the defendant and insurance carrier excepted.
The issues of this case are whether the employee sustained an injury arising out of and in the course of his employment, and whether his death resulted from an accident. It is elementary that if there is any competent evidence in the record to support the award of the State Workmen's Compensation Board, the award should not be disturbed.
The defendant and its insurance carrier insist that there was not sufficient evidence that the death was the result of coronary occlusion. Both doctors testified that in their opinion the coronary occlusion was the cause of the employee's death and that he had undergone sufficient exertion to cause the attack. "Mathematical certainty is rarely to be arrived at in such cases as this." Bussey v. Globe Indemnity Co., 81 Ga. App. 401, 405 (59 S. E. 2d 34). The principle that, where a witness on cross-examination repudiates his testimony given on direct examination the facts originally testified to by him, being thus withdrawn, are not to be regarded as evidence, has no application to the testimony of Dr. Green and Dr. McArthur. Neither of them withdrew his opinion as to the cause of the death of claimant's husband.
In the case at bar the evidence disclosed that the deceased, while performing the normal duties of his employment, first complained of pain in his stomach or chest. The evidence was sufficient to support the director's findings that the deceased had an accident arising out of and in the course of his employment. It is immaterial that the physical exertion engaged in by an employee is not unusual or excessive. Lumbermen's Mutual Casualty Co. v. Griggs, 190 Ga. 277 (9 S. E. 2d 84); Williams v. Maryland Casualty Co., 67 Ga. App. 649 (21 S. E. 2d 478); Bussey v. Globe Indemnity Co., 81 Ga. App. 401 (59 S. E. 2d 34).
The trial judge did not err in sustaining the award of the deputy director.
Judgment affirmed. Felton, C. J., and Nichols, J., concur.
Richard D. Carr, Smith, Field, Doremus & Ringel, contra.
Hurt, Gaines & Baird, for plaintiff in error.
DECIDED JUNE 26, 1956.
Saturday May 23 02:20 EDT


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