Carroll v. Knickerbocker Ice Company

113 N.E. 507 (1916)


D is a self-insurer under the Workmen's Compensation Law. Section 21 of the Workmen's Compensation Law provides that in any proceeding upon a claim for compensation under the law, 'it shall be presumed in the absence of substantial evidence to the contrary that the claim comes within the provisions of this chapter.' P was employed by the ice company as a driver on an ice wagon, and the claim is that he suffered an injury on September 22, 1914, while delivering ice. On September 22, 1914, P was putting ice in the cellar of a saloon at 20 East Forty-second street, borough of Manhattan, city of New York, the ice tongs slipped and a 300-lb. cake of ice fell upon him, striking him in the abdomen, causing an epigastric hemorrhage and a rigidity of the abdomen. P was taken to a hospital and there developed delirium tremens and died on the 28th day of September 1914.' A helper on the ice wagon and two cooks employed in the saloon where the ice was delivered, testified before the commission that they were present at the time and place when it was alleged the plaintiff was injured, and that they did not see any accident whatsoever happen to him, and that they did not see any cake of ice fall. The physicians who subsequently examined the decedent testified that there were no bruises, discolorations, or abrasions on the surface of his body. The commission’s decision was based solely on the testimony of witnesses who related what P told them as to how he was injured. P's wife testified that when he came home from his work he told her that he was putting a 300-pound cake of ice in Daly's cellar and the tongs slipped and the ice came back on him. It ruled for P and D appealed. The appeals court affirmed and D appealed.