Civil action on appeal from Division of Workmen's Compensation.
Respondent-employer Rust Craft Greeting Cards, Inc. appeals from a judgment of compensation, as amended, entered in the Workmen's Compensation Division on March 21, 1966, in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 34:15-13(g), following and based upon the remarriage of the decedent's widow.
The facts are these. Marc Blumenfeld, her deceased husband and father of their sons Stephen and Marc, died on November 18, 1964 as the result of a compensable accident. At a hearing in the Division of Workmen's Compensation on July 19, 1965 dependency benefits were awarded and a judgment in the gross amount of $37,451.95 was entered, based
upon the maximum weekly rate of $40, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 34:15-13 et seq.
On July 23, 1965 petitioner became the wife of one Edward F. Ochs, Jr., thus reducing the number of dependents to two and the weekly compensation rate to $39.23, payable to the two surviving children. N.J.S.A. 34:15-13(b). Parenthetically, it is noted that the schedule for the computation of compensation for dependents in this category was increased by L. 1966, c. 126, § 2(b), approved June 17, 1966, to take effect March 1, 1967.
On January 17, 1966 Rust Craft applied to the Division for leave to suggest the fact of petitioner's remarriage on the record and for an order distributing the compensation award among the remaining dependents, as expressed in N.J.S.A. 34:15-13(h), as follows:
"Compensation shall be computed upon the foregoing basis. Distribution shall be made among dependents, if more than 1, according to the order of the Division of Workmen's Compensation, which shall, when applied to for that purpose determine, upon the facts being presented to it, the proportion to be paid to or on behalf of each dependent according to the relative dependency. Payment on behalf of infants shall be made to the surviving parent, if any, or to the statutory or testamentary guardian."
Additionally, appellant moved to amend the judgment in conformity with N.J.S.A. 34:15-13(g), which provides, in part:
"Should any dependent of a deceased employee die during the period covered by such weekly payments the right of such dependent to compensation under this section shall cease but should the widow of a deceased employee remarry during such period and before the total compensation is paid, she shall be entitled to receive the remainder of the compensation which would have been due her had she not remarried, or $1,000.00, whichever is the lesser." (Emphasis supplied)
Accordingly, on March 21, 1966 the Division amended that portion of the judgment, as here pertinent, in the manner following:
"ORDERED that the judgment herein dated September 21, 1965 be and the same is hereby supplemented, modified ...