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Federal Leather Co. v. Derensis

Decided: August 6, 1934.

FEDERAL LEATHER COMPANY, PROSECUTOR,
v.
NICK DERENSIS, RESPONDENT



On certiorari. Prosecutor seeks to set aside a judgment of the Common Pleas Court (Essex county) reversing dismissal by workmen's compensation bureau of respondent's petition for increased disability payments. Affirmed.

For the prosecutor, Edwin Joseph O'Brien.

For the respondent, Bozza & Bozza (Carl Abruzzese, of counsel).

Before Justices Trenchard, Heher and Perskie.

Perskie

The opinion of the court was delivered by

PERSKIE, J. On May 12th, 1931, respondent (prosecutor below) was injured (strained back) "while lifting a can weighing about two hundred pounds, when I felt something snap in my back and dropped the can." Thereafter, on May 2d, 1932, he filed a formal employe's claim petition with the

workmen's compensation bureau. Prosecutor (respondent below) answered. The sole basis for its denial of further liability being that "an informal hearing was held on this case and award made for temporary and permanent compensation which was accepted by both parties and paid by respondent. Therefore, the respondent asks that no costs of any kind be assessed against it in this case."

The hearing on the formal petition and answer came up before John C. Wegner, referee, on July 19th, 1932. Each party was represented by counsel.

The determination, and rule No. 21308, consented to by counsel for the respective parties, and dated July 26th, 1932, discloses, inter alia, that "the attorney for the respondent * * * asked the court for leave to amend his answer filed in this case so as to deny that the petitioner suffered an injury by accident arising out of and in the course of the employment, &c.;" and that: "It was further found that there was a dispute as to the amount of disability involved in the case regardless of what was the cause of the same, in view of the fact that it was alleged that the condition was a neurological one and in view of the claim of the neurologist appearing for the respondent that the petitioner's disability was due partly to an old infectious condition and partly to a neurosis arising from litigation in the case." After considerable discussion it was finally agreed "that the case should be compromised as a complete and final disposition of the case for all time on the basis of respondent paying the petitioner a flat sum of $550 in addition to the amount of compensation already paid for temporary and permanent disability, in accordance with an informal award entered and accepted by both parties."

The minutes taken before the said referee, however, discloses the following testimony only: "By Mr. Wrecker: Q. Mr. Rensis, we are settling your case. The company will pay $550 as a flat sum, and the expenses you will pay amount to $200, leaving you $350 clear. That includes four weeks that they still owe you. You get $350; and $200 in expenses come out of the $550, do you understand that? A. Yes. Q.

And you are satisfied now? A. Right. The court: You understand, you know you cannot come back? You understand that? The witness: Yes. The court: Settlement approved. It is a ...


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