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Arizona Grocery Company v. Meier

Supreme Court of Arizona

May 29, 1944

ARIZONA GROCERY COMPANY, a Corporation, and HARTFORD ACCIDENT & INDEMNITY COMPANY, a Corporation, Petitioners,
v.
FRED MEIER and THE INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION OF ARIZONA, Respondents

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

Mr. Theodore G. McKesson, for Petitioners.

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

Mr. C. Leo Guynn, Amicus Curiae.

OPINION

STANFORD, J.

This is an accident that resulted in hernia to the respondent, Fred Meier. The accident, which is the subject of this action, occurred on or about the 13th day of July, 1942, and on said date while he was loading meat at the Arizona Grocery warehouse, and while carrying heavy cases onto the truck, Meier slipped and strained himself. He felt a pain in the region of the groin but never thought much about it and continued to work that day. There was some swelling that night and the next day but he didn't know what it was. Meier stated that about a [61 Ariz. 318] week after that he told his foreman, A. G. Bacon, about the incident. Bacon testified, when asked how long a time had elapsed before Meier told him, "it might have been a week or ten days, or maybe two or three days." Of Meier's own accord he purchased a truss of the Southwest Surgical Supply Company in Phoenix, and wore the same for about two weeks and then purchased another one from the Arizona Brace Shop, and it seems as though a statement for the second purchase was dated August 5, 1942.

The records before us show that a report of hernia was made to the Industrial Commission of Arizona by a typewritten report. The report was dated the 13th day of July, 1943. In that report, however, there was a statement under "Remarks" by Meier to the effect: "I finally decided that it was something that should be looked after and so I went to Dr. Kober on July 6th, 1943. I kept working because most of the time the trouble was not very painful. I tried to wear a truss and that made it hurt and so I quit wearing or trying to wear a truss. I bought two trusses with my own money."

The Industrial Commission, after hearings, entered its award and findings for Meier, and after denial of rehearing filed by petitioners herein, the case has been brought to us on a writ of certiorari.

It is the contention of the petitioner herein that some where around the 9th, 10th, or thereabouts, in July, 1942, respondent Fred Meier sustained the injury complained of but that he made no report to his company nor to a physician nor did he file a claim with the Industrial Commission for a period of more than one year thereafter.

It would seem from the facts in the case that more than a year had elapsed from the time of the injury until the claim was filed or a doctor was consulted on the subject. The respondent Meier, however, did some [61 Ariz. 319] few days after the injury report to his foreman, A. C. Bacon, and Bacon testified that he failed to turn in the report to his company.

This is a case where Meier continued to work, and still continues to work, for the petitioner and from a statement from counsel on both sides in open court he has proved to be an excellent employee and evidently his services are well liked. It is the claim of Meier that he failed to report the injury because it was minor. He testified at the time he slipped, the slipping caused the injury while he was carrying a load, that something had occurred to him but did not consider it at all serious,

Page 275

and later on bought a truss, and thereafter bought two more with his own means, and it was not until July 6, 1943, according to the claim that he filed with the Industrial Commission, that he went to Dr. Kober and reported his accident and gave information concerning same. He went to the Industrial Commission on July 13, 1943, and filed a workman's claim for compensation and in that claim for compensation it was stated the date injury was sustained as about January 15, 1943.

It is evident to us that Meier was injured in July, 1942, and we can see no justification for the report of the Industrial Commission that he was injured in 1943. A close examination of the typewritten copy of that report, however, discloses that there was an erasure and very likely there was some confusion and ...


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