For the prosecutor, Cox & Walburg (William H.D. Cox and Harry E. Walburg, of counsel).
For the respondent, Chandless, Weller & Kramer (Julius E. Kramer, of counsel).
Before Brogan, Chief Justice, and Justices Donges and Perskie.
The opinion of the court was delivered by
PERSKIE, J. This is a workmen's compensation case. R.S. 34:15-1, et seq. It presents the usual question, namely, did the accident which resulted in the death of petitioner's husband arise out of and in the course of his employment?
In the Workmen's Compensation Bureau and in the Bergen County Court of Common Pleas the posed question was answered in the affirmative. We, who do not "lightly disturb" a result reached by the stated independent tribunals, give like answer. Cf. Berlinger v. Medal Silk Co., 113 N.J.L. 476, 477; 174 A. 558.
Admittedly, the "evidence is not in dispute." On November 25th, 1941, about 5:30 P.M., Will D. Martin, seventy-two years of age, petitioner's husband, was struck by an automobile, operated by a third party, on Terrace Avenue in the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, while walking from his employer's office (250 Boulevard) to his home (16 Alger Street) in the borough. As a result thereof, Martin died the following morning about 3:00 A.M.
At the time of the accident, and for about forty-five years prior thereto, decedent was secretary of the prosecutor, hereafter referred to as Association. He had no fixed hours at the office of the Association which was open from 9:00 A.M. to about 6:00 P.M. In the earlier days of employment by the Association up to and about the time of World War number one, the office of the Association was in the home of the decedent. Thereafter, although the Association had opened an office elsewhere, decedent performed a goodly portion of his secretarial duties at his home pursuant to prior custom and with the express or implied knowledge and acquiescence of the Association. It maintained an extension of its office telephone at decedent's home. When the telephone bell rang in the office of the Association it was so arranged that it also rang in the home of the decedent. It was his custom to make and keep appointments at his home with those having business with the Association to suit their convenience whether it was during the day or the evening. He would, among other things, receive rents and dues at his home and issue receipts therefor; and he would also arrange for necessary repairs to properties belonging to the Association.
The Association was in the process of perfecting a proposed plan of re-organization. Its acceptance depended, inter alia, upon the consent of ninety per cent. of the stockholders. The Association agreed to submit its proposed plan to the State
Banking Commissioner by November 26th, 1941. Action by the Association on its proposed plan was scheduled for its meeting on the evening of the day of the accident. Decedent planned to attend that meeting "and to take ...