Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Platt v. Union News Co.

Decided: September 27, 1962.


Conford, Gaulkin and Kilkenny. The opinion of the court was delivered by Kilkenny, J.A.D.


Petitioner appeals from an order of the Essex County Court cancelling the obligation of a supersedeas bond filed by the respondent in connection with its appeal from a judgment of the County Court affirming an award by the Division of Workmen's Compensation.

The Division awarded petitioner, Luella Platt, dependency benefits aggregating $33,165.70 for herself and the six infant children of petitioner and her husband, Clarence, upon its determination that Clarence died of a heart attack on August 24, 1957 as the result of an accident on August 20, 1957 arising out of and during the course of his employment with respondent, Union News Company, a self-insured employer.

Union News Company appealed to the Essex County Court where the Division's judgment was affirmed. On its further appeal to the Appellate Division, Union News Company filed, presumably pursuant to R.R. 1:4-8(a), a supersedeas bond dated January 13, 1960, with National Surety Corporation as surety, in the sum of $71,791.40, double the award of dependency benefits and the fees and allowances. This bond provided that if

"the said Union News Company shall satisfy the said judgment together with costs and interest thereon, if for any reason the said appeal is dismissed or the judgment is affirmed and shall satisfy in full any modification of said judgment and such costs, interest and damages as any appellate court may adjudge and award, then this obligation to be void, otherwise to remain in full force and effect."

On December 15, 1960 the Appellate Division affirmed the judgment of the County Court and awarded additional fees and costs. Thereafter, Union News Company filed a petition for certification to the Supreme Court but voluntarily withdrew its petition before it was acted upon.

On December 8, 1961 Union News Company moved before the Essex County Court for an order cancelling the aforementioned supersedeas bond, and its motion was granted by order dated December 15, 1961. The present appeal is from that order.

Mrs. Platt contends that the supersedeas bond was conditioned upon the satisfaction in full of the workmen's compensation judgment; that this judgment has not been satisfied in full because some of the benefits are payable in futuro and will extend until July 15, 1973, when decedent's youngest child will attain the age of 18; and that, therefore, it was error for the County Court to cancel the bond and respondent's obligation thereunder before the judgment has been fully paid.

It was conceded at oral argument that Union News Company had satisfied all of its obligations under the judgment up to the time of the order cancelling the supersedeas bond and even to the date of oral argument. There was no representation that Union News Company was other than a solvent, going concern regularly paying the current benefits due under the judgment. However, Mrs. Platt argues that the Union News Company may become insolvent before the judgment is satisfied in full, and for that reason the bond should not be cancelled prior to full satisfaction, because to do so would be in contravention of its expressed provisions.

If this were the usual civil action money judgment, affirmed on appeal, the judgment creditor would have a right to proceed with execution and also the right to sue on the supersedeas bond to obtain judgment thereon. Such a bond, written pursuant to the requirements of R.R. 1:4-8(a), so provides. But the workmen's compensation judgment herein is different from the ordinary money judgment at law in

that (1) it is in large measure prospective as to the payments to be made thereunder; and (2) changed circumstances, particularly in a dependency death case, as here, may diminish or eliminate some of the future payments. For example, the death of the widow, her remarriage, or the death of one or more of the dependent children will modify or terminate future benefits payable to them. N.J.S.A. 34:15-13(g). Therefore, we have a distinction between the ordinary civil action money judgment, all of which is due and payable when the appeal is taken and for which at that time there may be execution for the full amount, and the workmen's compensation judgment herein, as to ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.