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Gross v. Pellicane

Decided: January 24, 1961.

GEORGE FRANKLIN GROSS, JR., PETITIONER,
v.
MARTHA PELLICANE, JOSEPH PELLICANE AND LILY DEMING, RESPONDENTS



On appeal.

Giordano, J.c.c.

Giordano

This proceeding involves two appeals from an award of the Division of Workmen's Compensation in favor of the petitioner George Franklin Gross, Jr., against the respondent Lily Deming.

Mrs. Deming appeals the award, and the petitioner cross-appeals the denial of his petition against the respondents Martha and Joseph Pellicane.

A perusal of the record discloses that the petitioner Gross is a jockey and he was injured on July 11, 1958 in the fifth race at Monmouth Park while riding "Lady Glade," a horse owned by the Pellicanes and trained by Mrs. Deming. Gross was a contract rider for a Mr. Harroway, a trainer. Under the agreement with Harroway the petitioner would exercise and ride his horses for a fixed amount per month, and when Harroway had no horse in a particular race Gross was then free to ride for someone else. When a

jockey is riding under an arrangement for a single race only, he is termed a free-lance jockey. It is undisputed that the petitioner was a free-lance jockey in the race in which he was injured.

Gross had an agent, as is the custom of the trade, who would arrange for mounts in the races for which Harroway did not require the petitioner's services.

Jockey fees are set by the rules of the New Jersey Racing Commission and are on a sliding scale according to the result of the race: $50 for win, $35 for place, $25 for show, and $20 otherwise. Also, it is customary for the jockey to receive 10% of the purse if he wins. The jockey's remuneration is deposited with the track officials and he is given a check at the end of the week for the total of all his earnings during the week. An owner is required to deposit $40 with the track officials as security for the payment of jockey fees.

The "colors," or silk shirt, worn by a jockey is furnished by the owners, but everything else used by the jockey -- saddle, pants, helmet and whip -- is provided by him.

A jockey is usually retained the day before the race by contacting his agent, and the trainer meets him in the paddock a few minutes prior to the race to give him instructions how to handle the particular horse in question.

The respondent Lily Deming is a trainer licensed by the New Jersey Racing Commission. While she had trained horses for the Pellicanes for four or five years, it is uncontradicted that she operated a public training stable at Monmouth Park, training horses besides those belonging to the Pellicanes. The horse stalls were assigned to her by the track.

The oral agreement between Lily Deming and the Pellicanes was to the effect that she would train their horses for $10 per day per horse. The Pellicanes also paid veterinarian and blacksmith fees, but the ordinary training expenses, such as feed, the salaries of grooms and exercise boys, were absorbed by the trainer. Mrs. Deming hired extra help

according to the number of horses she was training at the time.

The trainer had complete control over the racing of the Pellicane horses. She decided what races should be entered and what jockeys should be engaged. The owners could not discharge a jockey or take him off a particular horse. The Pellicanes could make suggestions concerning the entering of a particular race or ...


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