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Shaw v. Salt River Valley Water Users Ass'n

Supreme Court of Arizona

January 3, 1950

SHAW
v.
SALT RIVER VALLEY WATER USERS ASS'N et al

Award affirmed.

Terrence A. Carson, of Phoenix, Attorney for Petitioner.

H. S. McCluskey, of Phoenix, Robert E. Yount and Donald J. Morgan, Phoenix, of Counsel, Attorneys for Respondents.

Phelps, Justice. La Prade, C. J., and Udall, Stanford and De Concini, JJ., concur.

OPINION

Phelps, Justice.

Page 379

The petitioner, James A. Shaw, was employed by the Salt River Valley Water Users Association (hereinafter called the [69 Ariz. 310] Water Users), in its power plant in January, 1947, and on the 24th day of that month, as a result of a short circuit of an 11,000 volt electric current causing an explosion, he sustained an injury arising out of and in the course of his employment.

Petitioner received severe burns to the left arm and first and second degree and possibly third degree burns to the back of the hand. He also received first and second degree burns to the face and first degree of the lids of both eyes and of the left cornea. At the time of the explosion petitioner was temporarily blinded and in attempting to get out of danger came in contact with a battery box which stood about three and a half feet high, the box striking him in the left chest or side, causing a contusion of the left chest wall. Petitioner was taken to a local hospital where he remained approximately eleven days and was attended by Dr. H. B. Gudgel, physician for the Water Users.

Dr. Gudgel called in Dr. Virgil A. Toland who specializes in injuries and diseases of the eyes. Dr. Toland treated petitioner for injuries to his eyes and on April 2, 1947, he reported to respondent Industrial Commission (hereinafter called the commission) that petitioner's eyes had responded nicely to treatment and were well healed, that there was no permanent injury to the eyes as a result of the accident and that petitioner was ready for discharge. He reported that petitioner had a defective vision due to advance age (the petitioner being forty-eight years old at the time) but that such defect in nowise resulted from the burns suffered. This finding was supported by a consultation board consisting of Dr. B. L. Melton, Dr. Paul H. Case and Dr. Virgil A. Toland, such board being appointed at the request of Dr. Toland. Both Drs. Milton and Case are eye specialists.

The burns on the hands and face healed and petitioner recovered entirely therefrom except for superficial scarring which is not disfiguring.

Petitioner has at all times since said accident and injury complained more or less of soreness in the left chest and of continuous pains in that area. On one occasion while yawning and stretching in the early morning the pain became so intense that he "blacked out." X-ray examinations revealed no fracture of any bony structure in the area as a result of the injury.

At the request of the petitioner Dr. George A. Williamson was called in to consult with Dr. Gudgen and Dr. James R. Moore, medical referee for the commission. Based upon personal examination of petitioner and medical and X-ray reports these gentlemen made their report to the commission on June 9, 1948, in which they stated that the condition of petitioner was stationary; that he had entirely recovered from the burns except for superficial scarring which was not disfiguring; that the discomfort in the chest wall was [69 Ariz. 311] probably due to some deep fibrosis and was not disabling, but that petitioner had sustained a partial permanent disability equivalent to a 10% functional loss of the left arm.

On June 29, 1948, the commission made its findings and award finding that petitioner sustained personal injury on January 24, 1947, arising out of and in the course of his employment by the Water Users and awarded him accident benefits and compensation for temporary disability through April 28, 1947, and an additional sum of $ 108 per month for a period of five ...


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