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Barnabus v. Bersham Colliery…

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Barnabus v. Bersham Colliery Company. PONKEY APPEAL CASE. i In the Court of Appeal, on Monday, before the Master of the Rolls and Lords Moulton and Buckley, the employers ap- I pealed from an award of his Honour Judge Moss. under the Workmen's Com- pensation Acts, at the Wrexham County Court, in the case of Barnabus, (Ponkey) v. Bersham Coitiery Company. His Hon- our had made an award in favour of the dependents of a workman, who, it was said, had died from the results of an ac- cident arising out of and in the course of his employment. Mr Elliot, who appeared on behalf of the Colliery Company, stated the facts, and urged that the judgment of the learn- ed County Court judgewas not warrant- ed by the evidence. Barnabus was a col- lier, wno was taken ill while at work on September 6th, 1909, and died shortly afterwards. His own doctor diagnosed the case as death from apoplexy, but an- other doctor said death resulted from ac- cident. A post-mortem examination was held, and with the exception of Dr D. J.. Williams, who said that the man had died from a blow on the skull, the med- ical men came to the conclusion that death resulted from apoplexy. The learned judge, after hearing the medical evidence, found that the man died from apoplexy, caused by strain whiie engaged in heavy work. The respondents' medical men were not cross-examined, and there was no evidence of any accident. The appli- cants based their case at the trial on a blow on the skull, and that had been neg- atived by the County Court judge that being so, the County Court judge ought to have found in favour of the employers- to have found in favour of the employers. I Mr Atkin, K C with whom was Mr Clement Edwards, O1 behalf ot the de- pendents of Birnabus said that in the case of an accident which had net been witnessed it was a proper inference to draw in a case like the present that the apoplexy was caused by over-exertion. The Master of the Rolls The over- whelming weight of the evidence is that there was no blow. Mr Atkins said the judge had so found, but he submitted there was evidence to show that this man had died from apop- lexy, produced by over-exertion at work. There was evidence that the man was at work when he had a fit, and the learned judge was justified in inferring that the apoplexy was due to over-exertion while at work. Lord Justice Moulton said there was no evidence that at the time of the accident the work was causing the man any undue strain. Mr Atkin said the j lldge could properly have drawn an inference that the fit was produced by over-exertion while following his ordinary employment. Mr Clement Edwards followed on the same side. The Master of the Roils in giving evid- ence allowing the appeal, said that it was with regreat that he felt bound to come to the conclusion that there was no evid- ence to justify the court in holding that this was an accident arising out of the employment" which meant that it was owing to his doing some work of a ser- ious kird, which otherwise he would not have been doing. Lord Justice Moulton concurred. Lord Justice Bilek,ey said that there was nothing to show that the man's death arose out of his employment. The appeal was therefore allowed, and the award of the County Court judge set aside. 1

PONKEY.