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Harris v. Industrial Commission

Supreme Court of Arizona

June 25, 1951

HARRIS
v.
INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION et al

Award affirmed.

George T. Wilson and Minne & Sorenson, all of Phoenix, for petitioner.

Donald J. Morgan, Phoenix (H. S. McCluskey & Robert E. Yount, Phoenix, of counsel), respondent, Industrial Commission.

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

OPINION

Stanford, Justice.

This case comes before us on certiorari to review an award of the respondent Industrial Commission denying compensation to petitioner, Ora M. Harris, widow of the deceased, Lloyd Wayne Harris.

At the time of his death, on August 6, 1949, deceased was employed as a foreman by the Asbestos Engineering & Supply Co. of Phoenix, Arizona, as an insulation worker. His home was also in Phoenix, but in his line of work he was compelled to travel to various points around the state, for which he was allowed certain travel time for the time spent in traveling between his home and particular place of employment, [72 Ariz. 198] compensation being paid on the basis of his regular hourly wage.

In addition to the home in Phoenix, deceased also maintained a cabin, which was located near Signal Peak, some 15 miles from the city of Globe, Arizona, where he and his family often spent the summer weekends. The cabin was reached by means of a dirt road from Globe, the road ending beyond the cabin at some abandoned mines.

For several days preceding his death, deceased has been working in Morenci, in the eastern part of Arizona. Before going to Morenci, deceased made arrangements with his wife, petitioner herein, to meet her at the cabin on August 6, which was Saturday, and spend a few days there. On the morning of August 6, petitioner, who was then in Phoenix, decided not to go to the cabin because of illness in the family, and did not keep the appointment. When the deceased completed his job at Morenci on Saturday afternoon, he started for the cabin. He reached Globe and had traveled up the dirt road some ten or eleven miles when his car left the road and plunged down a steep cliff, from which he suffered multiple crush fractures, resulting in his death. His body was not found until the following Wednesday.

Petitioner filed the usual widow's claim for compensation which the commission

Page 847

denied on the ground that deceased suffered no injury from accident arising out of and in the course of his employment. On rehearing, the original findings and award were affirmed.

While it is a general rule that an employee is not to be compensated for injury occurring during the journey to or from his place of employment, it is a widely accepted and well-known exception that where the work is of such a nature that it creates the necessity of travel on the part of the employee, or where the employer compensates the employee for travel to and from work, the employee is protected by the Workmen's Compensation Act, A.C.A.1939, § 56-901 et seq., and entitled to compensation for injury resulting therefrom. Butler v. Industrial Comm.,50 Ariz. 516, 73 P.2d 703. See ...


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