Matter of Kayserv.Erie County Highway Department

Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, Third DepartmentNov 16, 1949
276 App. Div. 789 (N.Y. App. Div. 1949)

November 16, 1949.

Appeal from Workmen's Compensation Board.

Present — Foster, P.J., Heffernan, Deyo, Santry and Bergan, JJ.


The deceased was employed as a laborer for the Erie County Highway Department. While at work raking slag he suffered an attack and died from a ruptured aorta. The work he was then doing was his usual work, but there is medical testimony that the effort of that work on that day precipitated the rupture of the aorta which caused his death. The case is similar to one where the usual effort of employment causes a failure in a previously weakened body structure, as where a poorly healed fracture of the arm might fail with ordinary lifting. Here the usual effort is shown to have caused a specific failure in a specific artery. This has always been regarded as an industrial "accident". The "heart cases" where it is usually required to show some special effort as a precipitating cause of the attack, stand in a class by themselves, but they do so because their generalized nature makes it difficult factually to attribute the attack to the work. There is no such difficulty in the specifically attributed failure of the aorta in this case. Decision and award unanimously affirmed, with costs to the Workmen's Compensation Board.