On certiorari from the Union County Court of Common Pleas.
For the petitioner-defendant, Samuel J. Marantz.
For the respondent-prosecutor, Edwin Joseph O'Brien (Thomas J. Brett, of counsel).
Before Justices Case, Donges and Colie.
The opinion of the court was delivered by
COLIE, J. This writ of certiorari was allowed to review a judgment of the Union County Court of Common Pleas in a workmen's compensation case.
The determinative question is whether the petitioner below, defendant here, was an independent contractor or an employee
within the intendment of the Workmen's Compensation Act, R.S. 34:15-1, et seq. The deputy commissioner held that petitioner was an independent contractor and, on appeal, the Common Pleas reversed and held the relationship to be that of employer and employee.
The factual situation gleaned from the record discloses that Clarence E. Wadge was a carpenter by trade; that accompanied by one Hagen, also a carpenter, he drove to Crestwood Acres, a tract under development by the respondent below, prosecutor here, Crestwood Acres, Inc. They interviewed one Anthony Colucci and asked for work. Colucci, who was the president of Crestwood Acres, Inc., advised them that work was given out only on a contract basis. There ensued some discussion as to compensation culminating in the execution of the following "agreement:"
This Agreement, made this 25th day of January in the year One Thousand Nine Hundred Forty; between, Crestwood Acres, Inc., a New Jersey ...