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Industrial Commission of Arizona v. Orizaba Mining Co.

Supreme Court of Arizona

February 11, 1944

THE INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION OF ARIZONA, Appellant,
v.
ORIZABA MINING COMPANY, a Corporation, Appellee

APPEAL from an order of the Superior Court of the County of Maricopa. Arthur T. La Prade, Judge. Judgment affirmed.

Mr. H. S. McCluskey and Mr. Fred O. Wilson, for Appellant.

Messrs. Beer & Christy and Mr. James A. Walsh, for Appellee.

OPINION

[61 Ariz. 153] HALL, Superior Judge.

The appellant Industrial Commission of Arizona, hereinafter referred to as the commission, has appealed to this court from an order of the Maricopa Superior Court quashing an alternative writ of mandamus directed against the appellee Orizaba Mining Company, a corporation, hereinafter referred to as the employer.

The commission sought by said writ to compel the employer to insure, and keep insured, its employees, under the provisions of the Workmen's Compensation Act. Code 1939, § 56-901 et seq.

The facts disclose that prior to the time of putting its employees to work, the employer submitted to said employees for signature certain blank forms which in substance are identical with the rejection form provided in the Workmen's Compensation Act. Before each employee executed his rejection of the compensation law he was advised by the employer [61 Ariz. 154] that he might have the rights and benefits of such law if he so desired, and each employee before entering the service of the employer signed such rejection form, and the employer from time to time filed these forms with the Commission.

The Commission contends:

1st: That the Workmen's Compensation Act rests upon public policy and the exercise of the police power to regulate the status of employer and employee; and no contract, not expressly authorized by said Act, can affect the rights of the parties.

2nd: That it is the mandatory and compulsory duty of the employer, before putting its employees to work to insure them (a) in the state fund, or (b) by an authorized private carrier, or (c) by selfinsurance, as defined by the Compensation Act.

3rd: That it is the mandatory and compulsory duty of the employer to keep its employees insured under the Workmen's Compensation Act, even though they may have elected to reject the provisions of the

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Act and retain the right to sue the employer, as provided by law.

4th: That the benefits of the Workmen's Compensation Act may not be waived nor its terms rejected by a workman who has not first been insured ...


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