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Chapman v. Lease

Supreme Court of Arizona

November 12, 1940

LOUIS CHAPMAN, Petitioner,
v.
FINLAYSON LEASE, Defendant Employer, and THE INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION OF ARIZONA, Defendant Insurance Carrier, Respondents

APPEAL by Certiorari from an award of The Industrial Commission of Arizona. Award affirmed.

Messrs. Cox & Cox, for Petitioner.

Mr. Rouland W. Hill and Mr. Howard A. Twitty, for Respondents.

OPINION

[56 Ariz. 225] ROSS, C.J.

This is a certiorari proceeding brought to this court under the Workmen's Compensation Law (sec. 1391 et seq., Rev. Code 1928, as amended) to reverse the award of the Industrial Commission disallowing compensation to Louis Chapman, who claims he was injured in an accident arising out of and in the course of his employment by the Finlayson Lease, a corporation, in its mining operations at the Vulture Mine near Wickenburg, Maricopa county, in January of 1938.

At that time the employer was engaged in working over the dumps of the old Vulture Mine to recover the gold therein by the cyanide leaching process, and claimant (petitioner here) was then, and had been for about four months prior thereto, employed by the corporation, his duty being to make up the cyanide solution, test the same and thereafter sluice or wash the cyanide tank. The procedure followed was to put dry cakes of cyanide in a five-gallon bucket, with holes punched in the bottom, hang the bucket on the end of a two-inch pipe, release the water through the pipe into the bucket of cyanide salts and thence in its diluted form into a one hundred-ton tank until it was filled with the solution. Claimant would test the strength of the solution by sucking some of it into a pipette or glass tube containing a bulb with graduations indicating the strength of the fluid.

Claimant testified that on January 1, 1938, when the water from the pipe contacted the cyanide cakes, the [56 Ariz. 226] solution sprayed his face, nose and eyes and that he inhaled the fumes thereof, and that that was the first time it had occurred; that his arms and legs and whole body began to cramp; that he grew dizzy and everything turned black, breathing was hard and seemed to be shut off, his knees gave way and he fell on his face and cold sweat broke out all over him; that he was taken from the mine to his home, where he was confined for three days, and that Dr. Floyd B. Bralliar attended him; that the doctor released him after three days; that he suffered with headaches and stomachaches, cold sweats, and was dizzy; that these cleared up so that he returned to work on or about January 5, 1938, and on that day, while he was attending to his work, he was stricken down again in the same manner. On this occasion, the particular thing he was doing when his sickness came on was titrating or testing the strength of the solution by sucking it into a pipette, and got some of it in his month but did not

Page 197

swallow it. This time he was removed to Doctor Bralliar's hospital in Wickenburg. His symptoms were the same as in the first sickness only more severe and lasting.

At the time of the hearing on August 11, 1939, about a year and a half after the above attacks, claimant was still under the care of Doctor Bralliar and was sick and disabled.

The evidence is that before the above occurrences he was well, weighing 155 pounds, and that at the hearing his weight was only 113 pounds. He had pyorrhea and under the advice of Doctor Bralliar his teeth were extracted. Also, while he was in the hospital, he underwent an appendectomy. Thereafter he developed a right inguinal hernia and because of it wore a truss. These abnormal bodily conditions, it is agreed, do not account for the paroxysms described above, or the lingering illness following them, or the [56 Ariz. 227] disability of claimant. His loss of weight was ascribed to functional malnutrition.

From the above facts, which are not disputed, and the expert testimony of two doctors, the Industrial Commission refused to allow claimant any compensation and in that connection, on September 6, 1939, made the following findings:

"5. That the evidence is insufficient to establish that the applicant suffered any injury by accident arising out of and in the course of his employment on or about said date (Jan. 1, 1938).

"6. That the evidence is further insufficient to establish that the disability from which the applicant alleges to be suffering is proximately the result of any injury sustained while in the course of his said ...


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