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Dalton v. Consolidated Laundries Corp.

Decided: February 6, 1946.

PETER M. DALTON, PETITIONER-RESPONDENT,
v.
CONSOLIDATED LAUNDRIES CORPORATION, RESPONDENT-PROSECUTOR



On certiorari.

For the prosecutor, McCarter, English & Egner (Verling C. Enteman and Leon R. Ross, of counsel).

For the respondent, Edwin Joseph O'Brien (Thomas J. Brett, of counsel).

Before Justices Case, Bodine and Perskie.

Perskie

The opinion of the court was delivered by

PERSKIE, J. This is workmen's compensation case. R.S. 34:15-7, et seq. It presents for decision the question as to whether the heart injury suffered by the employee was the result of an accident which arose out of and in the course of his employment.

In the Bureau, Deputy Commissioner Medinets answered the posed question in the affirmative. He based his answer upon the holding by our Court of Errors and Appeals in the cases of Molnar v. American Smelting and Refining Co., 128 N.J.L. 24 A.2d 392, and Hentz v. Janssen Dairy Corp., 122 N.J.L. 494; 6 A.2d 409.

On appeal to the Essex County Court of Common Pleas, Judge Flannagan gave the same answer as that which was given in the Bureau and affirmed the judgment of the Bureau in all respects.

On the employer's application for a writ of certiorari, Mr. Justice Parker ordered that the application be made before this court en ban. Counsel at the argument of this cause before us agreed, subject to our approval, that if we concluded to allow the writ that the cause be determined on the record as now submitted. We allow the writ and decide the cause accordingly.

Succinctly stated, prosecutor contends that respondent did not expend any unusual effort or exertion and therefore he suffered no "accident" within the statutory meaning of that term. It makes sharp distinction between a heart condition which it characterizes as coronary insufficiency and coronary thrombosis. It asserts that respondent suffers from the latter. It concedes that the former may be brought on by exertion or effort because such exertion or effort "consumes the reserve supply of blood and makes impossible the proper functioning of the myocardium;" whereas the latter, coronary thrombosis, "ensues from a sclerotic condition of the coronary artery and needs no precipient other than time to cause disability or death." Prosecutor argues that it is the failure to have recognized this asserted distinction which led the lower tribunals to their erroneous conclusions just as it assertedly led the Court of Errors and Appeals in erroneously deciding the Molnar and Hentz cases. Respondent, on the other hand, contends that he suffered a compensable accident.

Our independent finding of the facts and determination of the applicable law (Owens v. Bennett Air Service, 133 N.H.L. 540), discloses that there is no substantial dispute as to the facts save as to ...


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