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02/10/76 STANTON v. LLOYD HAMMOND PRODUCE FARMS

February 10, 1976

STANTON
v.
LLOYD HAMMOND PRODUCE FARMS



Appeal from the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board.

Leave to appeal granted, 397 Mich .

Allen, P. J., and Bronson and R. M. Maher, JJ.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

1. Workmen's Compensation -- Personal Activity -- Employment Relationship -- Expectable Deviation -- Compensable Injury.

An employee's injuries which occurred off the employer's premises during a personal activity unapproved by the employer but reasonably incidental to the employment relationship are compensable under the workmen's compensation act; expectable deviations from the routine of work do not render injuries noncompensable.

2. Constitutional Law -- Equal Protection -- Due Process -- Flexible Concepts -- Void Legislation -- Void Ab Initio.

Equal protection and due process are flexible concepts; legislation held constitutional under these standards may later be found constitutionally deficient, but such a finding does not mandate that the legislation must be held void ab initio.

3. Workmen's Compensation -- Agricultural Workers -- Piecework -- Equal Protection -- Truck Drivers.

The statute excluding employers of agricultural workers paid on a piecework basis from workmen's compensation liability results in an unconstitutional denial of equal protection of the laws when it is applied to exclude an injured worker employed to deliver farm produce from benefits because his wages are based on the amount of produce he delivers; there is no basis for distinguishing the work of a laborer who drives a truck at a factory from a laborer who drives one on the farm (MCLA 418.115; MSA 17.237[115]).

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Maher

Claim by Ronald Stanton against Lloyd Hammond Produce Farms and Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company for workmen's compensation benefits. Compensation for medical expenses granted but wage compensation denied. Plaintiff appeals by leave granted.

Plaintiff claimed wage benefits and medical expenses after being injured while employed by defendant Hammond Produce Farms. In a three to two decision, the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board ordered payment of medical expenses but not wage benefits. Plaintiff appeals by leave.

Plaintiff drove a truck for defendant, delivering produce to cities in Southern Michigan and Indiana. His wages depended upon the amount of produce he delivered. On March 1, 1972, while returning from a delivery in Detroit to defendant's farm in East Lansing, plaintiff's truck hit a patch of ice. It rolled over and left the road, temporarily pinning defendant inside.

A hearing was held in March, 1973. The referee awarded wage benefits from March 2, 1972 to May 4, 1972, and medical expenses. The appeal board, deciding against retroactive application of Gallegos v Glaser Crandell Co, 388 Mich 654; 202 NW2d 786 (1972), reversed the award of wage benefits. The board agreed with the referee that plaintiff's injuries ...


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