GOODYEAR AIRCRAFT CORPORATION, ARIZONA DIVISION, a Corporation, Petitioner,
THE INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION OF ARIZONA, RAY GILBERT, EARL G. ROOKS and FRED E. EDWARDS, as Members of Said Industrial Commission of Arizona, and GEORGE H. LAWS, Respondents
APPEAL by certiorari from an award of The Industrial Commission of Arizona.
Messrs. Moore, Romley & Roca, for Petitioner.
Mr. H. S. McCluskey, and Mr. David P. Jones, for Respondent Commission.
Mr. Darrell R. Parker, for Respondent Laws.
Morgan, J. Stanford, C. J., and LaPrade, J., concur.
[62 Ariz. 400] Respondent Laws was employed by the petitioner as a guard at one of its warehouses in Phoenix. His hours of employment were from 3 p. m. to 11 p. m., with no time off for lunch. His instructions were to bring his lunch and eat it on the premises. He was credited with 8 1/2 hours per day, the additional half hour being allowed which would ordinarily have been consumed if he had eaten off the premises. He had been in the employ of the petitioner for nine months.
On August 24, 1944, Laws drove to the warehouse shortly before 3 o'clock. He left his lunch, including a bottle of Royal Crown Cola, on the seat of the car parked near the door of the warehouse. At 3 p.m. he relieved the guard who worked on the prior shift. At about the hour of 3:35 p. m. he stepped out to his automobile, returned with his lunch and the bottle of Cola. About two months before the company had furnished a water cooler for drinking purposes. The cooler consisted of a 25 gallon galvanized garbage can equipped with a faucet. It was mounted on a barrel, the top being about 4 feet 8 inches above the floor. It was filled with ice and some water twice a day, and [62 Ariz. 401] maintained for drinking purposes. It was the custom of Laws and other employees to cool bottles of beverages, such as Cola, which they had brought for their lunch or consumed on the job, upon the ice in this cooler. No rules or regulations existed against this practice. No other cooler facilities existed. In pursuance of this custom, Laws first washed off the bottle at a water faucet, raised the cooler lid to place the bottle of Cola on the ice. Before the bottle came in contact with the can or ice, and at a point opposite applicant's face -- probably just over the cooler rim -- the bottle exploded cutting his eye and hand, the injury resulting in the loss of the sight of one eye.
Claim for accident benefits under the Workmen's Compensation Law was filed by the employee with the respondent Industrial Commission, the insurance carrier. Hearing was had, and on November 6, 1944, the commission made findings of fact substantially as above set forth, and further to the effect that (1) Laws sustained an injury by accident arising out of and in the course of his employment; (2) that the personal injury entitled him to accident benefits. Petitioner's protest and application for rehearing were seasonably filed and, being denied, brought the case to this court for review by the statutory certiorari proceedings.
There is no controversy as to the facts. The assignments and propositions of the petitioner raise two questions. First, the injury suffered by respondent Laws was not in the course of his employment; second, the accident did not arise out of his
employment. The petitioner and both respondents have presented the case with great zeal and marked ability. The briefs and arguments have been both lucid and comprehensive. The industry of counsel has failed to uncover an exactly parallel case. We take it that none exists.
The facts being admitted, the sole question for our determination is one of law. Did the conceded [62 Ariz. 402] facts under the law authorize the commission to make the award? True, the commission made a finding that the accident arose out of and in the course of the applicant's employment. If there was any controversy as to the facts, such a finding would have to be considered as one of fact. Since, however, there is no issue as to the facts, and the situation is one from which different inferences may be drawn, the finding constitutes in effect a conclusion of law. To determine whether the conclusion is justified will require a consideration of the statutes, a review of the decisions of this court construing the act, and an examination of the authorities generally as to when an accident arises out of and in the course of employment.
The purpose and intent of the law must be given effect, but due regard must also be had as to the respective rights of employer and employee. A burden or liability not within the terms or spirit of the law is not to be imposed upon industry. On the other hand, the act must be construed liberally to effect its purposes and to provide compensation for workers who suffer injury from accidents arising out of and in the course of their employment. No rule is to be adopted and applied which will make ineffectual the evident purpose of the law that those covered by the act who are injured while engaged in industrial work are to be compensated. When a machine is broken it must be repaired. When an appliance is worn out it must be renewed. When, through accident arising out of the course of his employment, a worker is injured, he should be allowed due compensation, and the cost for such compensation is a charge against industry to the same extent as repair to a broken machine.
Article 18, Section 8 of the Constitution of Arizona directed the legislature to enact a workmen's compensation law requiring compensation to be paid to workmen in case of injury from specified accidents arising out of and in the course of such employment. [62 Ariz. 403] The constitutional provision provided that such compensation should be paid where the accident "is caused in whole, or in part, or is contributed to, by a necessary risk or danger of such employment."
Pursuant to that mandate, the legislature has enacted what is generally referred to as the workmen's compensation law, now appearing as Sections 56-901 to 56-977, inclusive, Arizona Code Annotated 1939.
Section 56-931 provides that where an employee is injured by accident arising out of and in the course of his employment ". . . unless purposely self-inflicted, shall be entitled to receive, and shall be paid such compensation for loss sustained on account of such injury . . . ."
Again, in Section 56-936, the following appears:
"Every employee covered by insurance . . . who is injured, by accident arising out of and in the course of employment . . . provided, the same are not purposely self-inflicted, shall be paid such compensation . . . for loss sustained on account of such injury, . . . ."
In Section 56-930 it is provided that personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of employment includes injury caused by the willful act of a third person ...