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Andersen v. Well-Built Homes of Central Jersey Inc.

Decided: July 29, 1960.

BARBARA ANDERSEN, PETITIONER-APPELLANT,
v.
WELL-BUILT HOMES OF CENTRAL JERSEY, INC., JOSEPH M. RACINA AGENCY, INC., AND JOSEPH M. RACINA, INDIVIDUALLY, RESPONDENTS-RESPONDENTS



Thompson, J.c.c.

Thompson

This is an appeal by petitioner Barbara Andersen from that portion of a judgment, entered in her favor in the New Jersey Department of Labor and Industry, Division of Workmen's Compensation, which apportioned liability against three employers in the proportion of 1/4 to respondent Well-Built Homes of Central Jersey, Inc., 1/4 to respondent Joseph M. Racina Agency, Inc., and 1/2 to respondent Joseph M. Racina individually. Petitioner contends that the above apportionment constituted error for the reason that the employers are jointly and severally liable to petitioner.

The respondent, Well-Built Homes of Central Jersey, Inc., is the only respondent contesting this appeal.

The facts relevant to the question for determination are not in dispute. Petitioner was a secretary in the employ of the three respondents, Well-Built Homes of Central Jersey, Inc., Joseph M. Racina, and Joseph M. Racina Agency, Inc. The office in which petitioner was employed by the three respondents was a model home, certain rooms of which had been converted for use as a business office. On June 6, 1958, the petitioner was injured when she went outside her place of employment to observe a truck moving out of the garage attached to the model home, in order to see that it cleared the overhead doors. At that moment the telephone bell rang and petitioner ran inside. She slipped on a loose piece of plastic lying on the floor just inside the door, sustaining the injury which forms the basis of this litigation. According to the bookkeeping records petitioner was paid a total salary of $60 per week -- $30 from Joseph M. Racina, $15 from Joseph M. Racina Agency, Inc., and $15 from Well-Built Homes of Central Jersey, Inc. It appears that the varying payments from the respondents were a matter of bookkeeping convenience, for no particular time was allotted to each employer for secretarial work. The petitioner spent whatever time was required to perform the work for each respondent.

The following testimony of the petitioner, which is undisputed, indicates the nature of her relationship with the three employers:

On direct examination she testified --

"Q. Now, while employed during June of 1958, from whom did you obtain your orders as to what kind of work you would do? A. Joseph Racina.

Q. Did he give you orders as to all three employers? A. Yes. My time was intermingled at work. There was no specific time. * * *

Q. Did you do work for each of these three separate organizations? A. Yes, I did.

Q. Was there any special hours designated for one employer as opposed to another? A. No, there wasn't."

On examination by attorney for respondent Racina, she ...


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