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JESSE DAVIDSON v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (04/16/79)

decided: April 16, 1979.

JESSE DAVIDSON, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD, LEO DELEON AND THOMAS J. DUGAN, RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Jesse Davidson v. Leo DeLeon and Thomas J. Dugan, No. A-73199.

COUNSEL

William H. R. Casey, with him Liederbach, Eimer & Rossi, for petitioner.

John P. Knox, with him Curtis Wright, and Timoney, Knox, Hasson & Weand, for respondents.

Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer and DiSalle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson, Jr.

Author: Wilkinson

[ 42 Pa. Commw. Page 31]

This appeal is from the disallowance of workmen's compensation benefits to a professional jockey (claimant) from the owner of the horse he was riding at the time of the accident during a thoroughbred horse race. The issue raised is the question of whether the jockey is an employee of the owner or is an independent contractor. The referee, after making 14 findings of fact, followed by a discussion of the law, and four conclusions of law, found the relationship to be that of an independent contractor and dismissed the claimant's petition. His second and third conclusions of law were:

2. Considered in its totality, the Claimant has not established by substantial competent evidence that he was an employee of the Defendants at the time of his injury.

3. Defendants have established by substantial competent evidence that the significant factors to be used in determining Claimant's status

[ 42 Pa. Commw. Page 32]

    establish that he was an independent contractor, and not an employee of the Defendants.

The referee's findings, conclusions, and order were affirmed by the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board). We affirm.

The law with regard to determining whether a relationship for purposes of workmen's compensation benefits is either employer-employee or independent contractor was ably set forth by Judge Mencer in J. Miller Co. v. Mixter, 2 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 229, 232, 277 A.2d 867, 869 (1971). As quoted in the Board's opinion:

The courts have not formulated a hard and fast definition for the determination of whether any given relationship is one of independent contractor or that of employer-employee. They have, however, set forth indicia of such relationship to be used as guides in making such a determination, some of which are: Control of manner work is to be done; responsibility for result only; terms of agreement between the parties; the nature of the work or occupation; skill required for performance; whether one employed is engaged in a distinct occupation or business; which party supplies the tools; whether payment is by the time or by the job; whether work is a part of regular business of the employer, and also the right of employer to terminate the employment at any time. Feller v. New Amsterdam Casualty Co., 363 Pa. 483, 70 A.2d 299 (1950); Johnson v. Angretti et al., 364 Pa. 602, 73 A.2d 666 ...


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