CORDELL MILLING CO. v. STATE INDUS. COMM'N

Annotate this Case

CORDELL MILLING CO. v. STATE INDUS. COMM'N
1935 OK 627
47 P.2d 168
173 Okla. 195
Case Number: 25877
Decided: 06/04/1935
Supreme Court of Oklahoma

CORDELL MILLING CO. et al.
v.
STATE INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION et al.

Syllabus

¶0 1. Master and Servant - Workmen's Compensation Law - Requirement That Injury Occur "in the Course of" and "Arise out of" Employment.
In order for an accidental personal injury to be compensable under the Workmen's Compensation Act, it must be sustained both "in the course of" the employment and "arising out of" the employment, within the meaning of section 13351, O. S. 1931. (Stanolind Pipe Line Co. v. Tom F. Davis, 173 Okla. 190, 47 P. [2d] 163)
2. Same - "In the Course of" and "Arising out of" Defined.
In Workmen's Compensation Act the words "in the course of" refer to the time, place, and circumstances under which the accident occurred, and the words "arising out of" refer to the origin and cause of the accident, and its connection with the employment. (Stanolind Pipe Line Co. v. Tom F. Davis, supra.)
3. Same - Injury Caused by Act of Third Party or Extraneous Phenomenon of Nature.
Under the Workmen's Compensation Act the fact that the injury was caused by the act of some other person, or by some extraneous phenomenon of nature, does not prevent the injury from having "arisen out of" the employment, if it was caused by (1) the employer or a fellow employee, or (2) the injured employee's act of protecting the employer's property, or (3) the injured employee's being placed, by the nature of his work, in a position subjecting him to a greater hazard of injury by lightning, sunstroke, storm, or the like than other people in the same vicinity who are not engaged in such work; providing the other elements of liability are present. But said classification is not exclusive, and other classifications may arise if they meet the tests herein reviewed. (Stanolind Pipe Line Co. v. Tom F. Davis, supra.) 4. Same - Injury From Assault by Third Party. Assault by a third party, who is neither the employer nor a fellow employee, may become a compensable injury under the Workmen's Compensation Act if it occurs under circumstances otherwise reasonably connected with the employment. But if the connection with the employment is lacking, then the fact that the injured employee happened to be working at the time of the injury will not in itself support a finding that it arises "out of" the employment. (Stanolind Pipe Line Co. v. Tom F. Davis, supra.)
5. Same - Requisites of Injury "Arising out of" Employment.
An injury "arising out of" the employment, within the meaning of the Workmen's Compensation Act, must have resulted from a risk reasonably incident to the employment. There must be apparent to the rational mind, upon consideration of all the circumstances, a causal connection between (1) the conditions under which the work is required to be performed, and (2) the resulting injury. (Stanolind Pipe Line Co. v. Tom F. Davis, supra.)
6. Same - Injury to Truck Driver From Assault by Robber Held not Compensable.
Where workman emerged from under truck which he had stopped to repair on the road at night, and was injured by a robber, and it appears that the assault was motivated entirely and exclusively by an indiscriminate mission of robbery, and no question of protecting the employer's property, nor connection therewith, was involved, and the nature of the employer's work did not subject him to a greater hazard of robbery than others traveling on the highway, the injury did not "arise out of" the employment, within the meaning of the Workmen's Compensation Act.

Original action in the Supreme Court by the Cordell Milling Company and Casualty Reciprocal Exchange to review order and award of the State Industrial Commission made to W.L. Houk. Award vacated.

Butler & Brown, for petitioners.
Mac Q. Williamson, Atty. Gen., and Houston W. Reeves, for respondents.

PHELPS, J.

¶1 Cordell Milling Company (employer and petitioner), operating a flour mill at Cordell, Okla., sent W.L. Houk (employee and a respondent herein) to. Duncan, Okla., with a truckload of flour. On the return trip darkness overtook him, the lights on the truck began "flickering," and he crawled under the truck to fix the the lights. As he emerged therefrom he was assaulted by a robber and received personal injuries for which he was awarded compensation under the Workmen's Compensation Act.

¶2 In this original action to review said order and award, one of the propositions of petitioners is that the injury was not sustained "in the course of and arising out of" the employment, so as to be compensable under section 13351, O. S. 1931.

¶3 To conserve space, reference is hereby made to the case of Stanolind Pipe Line Co. v. Tom F. Davis and the State Industrial Commission, decided on this date, 173 Okla. 190, 47 P.2d 163. Since the facts herein and the facts in that case are so nearly identical with respect to the principles of law involved, it is unnecessary to again announce that under such circumstances the injury did not arise "out of" the employment within the meaning of the Workmen's Compensation Act. For the announcement of the principles governing this decision, see that case, which is hereby held to be controlling on the issue here involved. Also I. T. I. O. Co. v. Lewis, 165 Okla. 26, 24 P.2d 647, with no sufficient difference in facts to alter the result in this case.

¶4 This opinion does not overlook the possibility that the robbery might not have occurred if claimant had not stopped to repair the truck. The same could be said in Stanolind Pipe Line Co. v. Davis, supra, if claimant therein had not been making ready to take the bull plug to the end of the pipe line at the instant the drunken assaulters happened to come along the road; and the same could be said in I. T. I. O. Co. v. Lewis, supra, if claimant had not been faced with the necessity of checking his records late at night when the robber appeared; and in Farmers Gin Co. v. Cooper, 147 Okla. 29, 294 P. 108, if claimant had not been traveling the highway to obtain a doctor's services to remedy a previous injury received in the employment, when he collided with another automobile, causing his second injury, which was held not to have "arisen out of" the employment, although within "the course of" the employment. In the latter case it was said:

"The causative danger must be peculiar to the work and not common to the neighborhood. It must be incidental to the character of the business and not independent of the relation of master and servant. * * * Did the last accident arise 'out of' the employment? We hold it did not, for it was not the result of the exposure occasioned by the nature of the employment, but, on the other hand, it was the result of a condition common to the neighborhood - an ordinary automobile accident. It may just as well have been a bolt of lightning. It was not incidental to the character of the business in which claimant was employed. * * * There must be some causal connection between the injury and the employment, and if the injury is sustained by reason of some cause having no relation to the employment, it does not arise out of the employment. It is not enough that the injured person may have been present at the time of the accident because of his work, unless the injury is the result of some risk of the employment. * * * 'An award cannot be made where the accident results from the chances of life in general to which the injured person was exposed in common with all mankind rather than as an employee' "

¶5 This whole phase of the controversy is discussed in the three above-named cases, to which reference is hereby made. Upon those authorities, it being evident that although the injury in this case may have been sustained "in the course of" the employment, it did not "arise out of" the employment, there is no basis upon which we may affirm the award. Accordingly, the award is vacated.