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Coffey v. Automatic LaCutterhead

Filed: May 18, 1982.

VIVIAN OGLE COFFEY, WIDOW OF HARLEY E. COFFEY, DECEASED
v.
AUTOMATIC LATHE CUTTERHEAD, DEFENDANT-EMPLOYER AND PENNSYLVANIA NATIONAL MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, DEFENDANT-CARRIER



Appeal by plaintiff from the North Carolina Industrial Commission. Opinion entered 20 July 1981. Heard in the Court of Appeals 5 May 1982.

Wells, Judge. Judges Webb and Whichard concur.

Wells

The hearing officer's opinion and award contained the following pertinent findings of fact and conclusion of law:

Findings of Fact

2. Plaintiff had worked for defendant employer [for] 13 1/2 years as a sales representative on the date of the alleged injury, January 5, 1979. He called on wholesale furniture accounts and took orders. He used a three-quarter inch thick order book on a clipboard which weighed approximately 1 1/2 pounds.

3. Defendant employer furnished plaintiff with a 1978 Chevrolet Impala which had a 54 inch bench front seat to

travel in. He had had this vehicle one year on the date of the alleged injury.

4. Plaintiff drove back into the company parking lot on Friday, January 5, 1979 at 2 p.m. The lot was covered with loose stone. He placed his left foot out on the parking lot in his customary manner and reached to his right side to pick up his order pad and clipboard. The clipboard had slipped to the right side of the seat the inside of the right door. Plaintiff leaned over to his right and stretched to get the order pad which was lodged between the seat and the right door. As he reached across the seat to the right door with his left foot on the ground, he felt a stinging (burning) sensation in his lower back, like a bee sting. He then raised back up, turned and placed his right foot out on the gravel. He stood up and the pain was so severe, he fell to the ground. After sitting on the ground a short while, he went in and told Randy Buchanan. The clipboard and order book was [sic] usually in the middle of the front seat to his right.

9. On January 5, 1979, plaintiff sustained an injury by accident arising out of and in the course of his employment with defendant employer when he stretched across the seat to retrieve an order book and clipboard which had slipped between the seat and right door. This was an unlooked for and untoward event which is not expected or designed by the injured employee, but a result produced by furtuilous [sic] cause.

Conclusions of Law

1. On January 5, 1979, plaintiff sustained an injury by accident arising out of and in the course of his employment with defendant employer. . . .

On appeal, the Full Commission adopted findings of fact numbered 2, 3, and 4 quoted above, but ...


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