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Lawskills.com Georgia Caselaw
WALKER v. WILCOX COUNTY.
36487.
Workmen's compensation; county employee claimant. Before Judge Horne. Wilcox Superior Court. September 13, 1956.
GARDNER, P.
The claimant is an employee of Wilcox County, and both are subject to the provisions of the Workmen's Compensation Act. The employee, having been injured during the course of and in the scope of his employment, is entitled to recover, according to the provisions of the act.
This case arises under the Workmen's Compensation Act. Charles Walker made application for compensation because of injuries which he allegedly received while an employee of Wilcox County. The hearing director made an award in his favor. Wilcox County appealed this award directly to the Superior Court of Wilcox County, wherein the award was reversed. The claimant filed a direct bill of exceptions to this court naming Wilcox County as defendant in error. Counsel for both parties stipulated that there were two questions only for this court to determine: (1) Whether or not Wilcox County is liable as employer to the claimant under the provisions of the Workmen's Compensation Act; and (2) Whether or not the claimant was injured while an employee of Wilcox County, the employer.
J. Prior to the ratification of the Constitution of Georgia of 1945, the Supreme Court held that a county was not authorized to levy tax to pay any workmen's compensation. See Kelley v. County of Newton, 198 Ga. 483 (32 S. E. 2d 99). The Constitution of Georgia ratified in 1945, contained a section, codified as Code 2-5701 providing that the General Assembly shall not have power to delegate to any county the right to levy a tax for any purpose except . . . "(15) To provide for workmen's compensation and retirement or pension funds for officers and employees." Since the ratification of the Constitution of Georgia in 1945 the General Assembly has passed several acts pertaining to and amending the Workmen's Compensation Act. Code (Ann. Supp.) 92-3701 (15) (Ga. L. 1946, p. 87) reads: "County taxes may be levied and collected for the following purposes: 'To provide for workmen's compensation and retirement or pension funds for officers and employees.' " Under the acts of the General Assembly amending the Workmen's Compensation Act, since the ratification of the Constitution of Georgia in 1945, we are of the opinion that the claimant in the instant case was an employee of Wilcox County, the employer, and that both the employee and the employer are involuntarily under the provisions of the Workmen's Compensation Act. See Code 114-109, and City of Macon v. Benson, 175 Ga. 502 (166 S. E. 26), where the Supreme Court held this act constitutional. See also Bartram v. City of Atlanta, 71 Ga. App. 313 (30 S. E. 2d 780) based on City of Macon v. Benson, supra, and City of Brunswick v. Edenfield, 87 Ga. App. 434 (74 S. E. 2d 133). Ga. L. 1950, p. 324, which amended Code 114-101, reads in part as follows: "The said amendment is added to the said section for the purpose of reinstating as the law of this State in such counties the provisions of the said Act which had been held to be unconstitutional prior to the adoption of the Constitution of 1945 and which provisions are now made constitutional by the adoption of the said Constitution which extends authority to the General Assembly to delegate to any county the right to levy taxes 'to provide for workmen's compensation and retirement or pension funds for officers and employees.' "
In view of the authorities above cited, we hold as a matter of law that Wilcox County and the claimant are subject to the provisions of the Workmen's Compensation Act; that the injuries to the claimant were incurred during the course of and in the scope of his employment.
D. E. Turk, contra.
Ben F. Sweet, for party at interest not party to record.
Emory L. Rowland, for plaintiff in error.
DECIDED FEBRUARY 6, 1957 -- REHEARING DENIED FEBRUARY 21, 1957.
Saturday May 23 02:08 EDT


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