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Carpenter v. City of New York

Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division

July 8, 1954

In the Matter of the Claim of HAROLD CARPENTER, Respondent,
v.
CITY OF NEW YORK, Appellant. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION BOARD, Respondent.

Page 468

APPEAL from a decision and award of the Workmen's Compensation Board, filed April 30, 1953, in favor of claimant under the Workmen's Compensation Law.

COUNSEL

Adrian P. Burke, Corporation Counsel (Edward J. Russel, Seymour B. Quel and Joseph J. Lucchi of counsel), for appellant.

Nathaniel L. Goldstein, Attorney-General (Gilbert M. Landy, Roy Wiedersum and Harry Pastor of counsel), for Workmen's Compensation Board, respondent.

HALPERN, J.

The claimant was employed as a court attendant in the County Court of Kings County. On the seventh floor of the County Courthouse there was a detention pen in which prisoners, whose presence was needed for court proceedings, were temporarily held. The prisoners were brought from the Raymond Street jail to the detention pen by the employees of the department of correction of the City of New York and they were guarded, while in custody in the detention pen, by employees of that department.

When a prisoner was needed in a courtroom on one of the floors below, a court attendant would come for him and he would be turned over to the attendant by the guard and he would then be escorted by the attendant to the courtroom. On some occasions, an employee of the department of correction accompanied the court attendant. It was the court attendant's duty to guard the prisoner through the corridors and on the stairways on the trip to the courtroom and to guard him in the courtroom as well.

On March 13, 1952, while the claimant was escorting a prisoner from the detention pen to a courtroom on the sixth floor, the prisoner attempted to escape, whirled around suddenly, and pulled the claimant down a flight of stairs.

The claimant suffered back injuries which have required medical attention and may require surgery in the future. It is principally because of the medical expenses, past and prospective, that this claim for workmen's compensation is pressed. The claimant has suffered no loss of wages, since the city paid him his full salary during the period of his disability.

Page 469

The question is whether the claimant comes within group 15 of subdivision 1 of section 3 of the Workmen's Compensation Law. At the time of the occurrence of the injury, the statute read (L. 1936, ch. 711):

'ยง 3. Application.

'1. Hazardous employments. Compensation shall be payable for injuries or death incurred by employees in the following employments: * * *

'Group 15. Employment as a keeper, guard, nurse, interne or orderly in a prison, reformatory, insane asylum or hospital maintained or operated by a municipal corporation or other subdivision of the state, notwithstanding the definitions of the terms 'employment,' 'employer' or ...


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