Freund, Smith and Leyden. The opinion of the court was delivered by Joseph L. Smith, J.s.c. (temporarily assigned).
This is an appeal from a judgment of the Union County Court, 34 N.J. Super. 88, setting aside a denial of an award of fees for legal services made in the Workmen's Compensation Division of the Department of Labor and Industry.
Petitioner was a regular employee of the respondent, and respondent's records show that he was injured on August 18, 1952 as the result of an accident arising out of and during the course of his employment with the respondent, of which it had due and timely notice.
The petitioner was continuously under the care of physicians and was being paid his temporary disability. There is
no indication that at any time was there a refusal to pay this temporary disability.
On March 4, 1954 the petitioner filed a claim petition claiming compensation for himself as a result of an accident arising out of and in the course of his employment with respondent on the aforesaid August 18, 1952; the petition cites August 15, 1952 but the deputy director accepted the company records of August 18, 1952.
The respondent, by its answer, admitted liability and stated the injury to be "sacro iliac sprain right side of back." It appears that the respondent met its statutory duty and furnished medical treatment until July 8, 1954 and paid 98 3/7 weeks temporary disability benefits of $2,952.86.
On July 15, 1954, eight days after treatment ceased, the respondent offered the petitioner two checks -- one in the amount of $30 identified as "compensation for week, 1st week of 440 weeks of Permanent Compensation," and another check representing the last payment of temporary compensation in the sum of $12.86. Mr. Diehl, the personnel manager of respondent-appellant, who handed the two checks stated to petitioner that, in the words of the petitioner, this was "the last of my temporary compensation." "Then he handed me another check and he said this was the beginning of eighty percent of permanent disability."
As previously stated, the petition was filed on March 4, 1954 and an answer filed on April 6, 1954 wherein temporary disability was admittedly "still being paid but as to permanent disability it was 'in question.'"
On June 24, 1954 the Division of Workmen's Compensation sent out notices to all parties that the case was set down for hearing "Perempt" on Monday, July 19, 1954.
On July 12, 1954, four days after treatment was stopped, the amended answer was filed wherein respondent admits "Permanent disability 80% -- 440 weeks -- $13,200.00." Respondent denies that he had any notice of this amended answer.
On the hearing day, July 19, 1954, it was determined that Seitz, the petitioner, was totally and ...