Gondeck v. Pan American World Airways, Inc. - 382 U.S. 25 (1965)
U.S. Supreme Court
Gondeck v. Pan American World Airways, Inc., 382 U.S. 25 (1965)
Gondeck v. Pan American World Airways, Inc.
No. 919, October Term, 1961
Certiorari denied June 11, 1962
Rehearing denied October 8, 1962
Rehearing and certiorari granted and
case decided October 18, 1965
382 U.S. 25
Petitioner's husband, while off duty, was killed outside an overseas defense base where he was employed. The Deputy Commissioner, Bureau of Employees' Compensation, Department of Labor, having found that, at the time of the accident, decedent was subject to emergency call and was returning from reasonable recreation, awarded petitioner death benefits under the Longshoremen's and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act. The District Court set the award aside, and the Court of Appeals affirmed, finding no benefit to the employer in decedent's trip and no relation between the accident and his employment. This Court denied certiorari in the October, 1961, Term, and a petition for rehearing the next Term. Thereafter, another Court of Appeals upheld an award arising from another employee's death in the same accident, relying on O'Leary v. Brown-Pacific-Maxon, Inc., 340 U. S. 504, which held that the Deputy Commissioner's award under the Act may be based on his finding that the obligations and conditions of employment create the "zone of special danger" out of which the injury or death arose. The Court of Appeals which decided this case expressed doubt in a subsequent case that its decision below conformed to Brown-Pacific-Maxon, and noted that, but for a per curiam judgment (reversed last Term in O'Keeffe v. Smith, Hinchman & Grylls Associates, Inc., 380 U. S. 359) the Gondeck case stood alone.
Held: Since the Court of Appeals misinterpreted the standard in Brown-Pacific-Maxon, and since of those eligible petitioner alone had not received compensation for the accident here involved, the "interests of justice would make unfair the strict application of [the Court's] rules" by which the litigation here would otherwise be final. United States v. Ohio Power Co., 353 U. S. 98, 353 U. S. 99.
Rehearing and certiorari granted; 299 F.2d 74 reversed.