Voris v. Eikel,
346 U.S. 328 (1953)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Voris v. Eikel, 346 U.S. 328 (1953)

Voris v. Eikel

No. 20

Argued October 14, 1953

Decided November 9, 1953

346 U.S. 328


Petitioner, a stevedore subject to the provisions of the Longshoremen's and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, suffered an injury in the course of his employment that necessitated removing him from his job to his home. Written notice of the injury was not given to the employer until six months later, but the foreman of the gang in which petitioner worked and the walking foreman who had employed petitioner and who supervised his work had actual notice on the day of the accident, and the latter reported it to the timekeeper. It was customary for an injured employee to report to his immediate supervisor, who would send or take him to the timekeeper. Both the supervisor and the timekeeper were instructed to report injuries to the employer or agent in charge, but it was not shown that they did so in this case.

Held: on the record in this case, the Deputy Commissioner was justified in finding that the employer had notice of the injury within the meaning of § 12(d) of the Act. Pp. 346 U. S. 329-334.

(a) It would be indefensible to hold that the requirements of § 12(d) are not satisfied unless the claimant can demonstrate that the employer or the person he selects to be in charge had actual personal knowledge of the injury -- especially in this case, in which the employer claimed that a gearman was temporarily in charge and it was not shown that the foremen or workmen had notice of his designation. P. 346 U. S. 332.

(b) Where the employee follows the practice prescribed by the employer in reporting injuries, the burden of any failure of the agents of the employer designated to receive such information to report it to him must fall on the employer, and not on the employee. Pp. 346 U. S. 332-333.

200 F.2d 724 reversed.

Page 346 U. S. 329

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