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Gray v. Greenwood

Decided: March 8, 1943.

MARY F. GRAY, PETITIONER-PROSECUTRIX,
v.
HERBERT GREENWOOD AND FRANCES GREENWOOD AND GLOBE INDEMNITY CO., RESPONDENTS-DEFENDANTS



On certiorari.

For the petitioner-prosecutrix, David Roskein (Harry Cohn, of counsel).

For the respondents-defendants, Cox & Walburg (Arthur F. Mead, of counsel).

Before Brogan, Chief Justice, and Justices Parker and Porter.

Brogan

The opinion of the court was delivered by

BROGAN, CHIEF JUSTICE. This is a compensation case. Petitioner was allowed compensation in the Bureau. The Pleas, on appeal, reversed. The case is before us on writ of certiorari allowed to review the judgment of the Pleas reversing the award of the Bureau.

The petitioner, a seamstress with thirty-five years experience, had worked on and off for the respondent Mrs. Greenwood for many years, originally as a dressmaker, but latterly,

as a seamstress repairing and altering dresses, and the like, for the respondent and her daughter. She worked by the day and was compensated at the rate of $4 for each day. The work was done, sometimes at her own home, other times at the home of the respondent, depending on the character of the work.

On January 12th, 1940, petitioner journeyed from Newark by train to Maplewood, where respondent lived. The respondent met her at the station, by arrangement, and took her to the Greenwood home by automobile. The weather had been inclement, the streets covered with ice. The respondent, being unable to drive the automobile into the driveway at her home, discharged the petitioner at the curb and on the way to the house the petitioner slipped on the ice, fell and was injured.

There was testimony in the case, admitted without challenge or dispute, that the petitioner was not the only person who did seamstress work for the respondent. The petitioner herself, in answer to a question: "* * * What took place on January 12th?" replied: "Why she [respondent] called me up * * * and asked me to come in Friday to do this work * * *. I found out afterwards that she had a seamstress come in to do the work such as it was at the house but for some reason or other she [respondent] did not bring that type of work to me because of my former line of work. I don't know whether the lady who was doing this work disappointed her or what the real situation was, whether she was ill or what it was but anyhow Mrs. Greenwood asked me if I would come and do it for her."

The issue in this case is whether the employment was of the character for which compensation is provided in the event of injury by accident arising out of and in the course of the employment. The contention of the employer is that the employment was casual and that the injury was not compensable. The terms "employer" and "employee" are defined by our statute. Those definitions state that "employee" is synonymous with servant and includes all natural persons who perform service for another for financial consideration "exclusive of casual employments, which shall be ...


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