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WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION ACT. WHAT IS WILFUL MISCONDUCT UNDER THE ACT. On Wednesday, at the Wrexham County Court, his Honour Judge Sir Horatio Lloyd was engaged for several hours hearing an ac- tion under the Workmen's Compensation Act, involving an important point as to whether drunkenness was 'serious and wilful miscon- duct,' within the meaning of the Act. The action was brought by Mrs. Mary Jane Jones, Osborne Cottage, Lodge, Brymtio, against Mr. Charles Richardson Cowap, Coal Exchange, Chester, the proprietor of the Old Lester's Lime Works, Minera, near Wrexham, and the turn claimed was 9198 18s. Mr. J. Hopley Pierce appeared for the plain- tiff, and Mr. Bryn Boberts, M.P., barrister-at- law (instructed by Mr. R. W. Glascodine) was for the defendant. Mr. Bryn Roberts said it lay with him to prove his contention, and it was an important question as to whether drunkenness was, under the Act, 'serious and wilful misconduct.' A man named Jones was in charge of an engine at the defendant's works on September 27 last, and owing, as they said, to his drunken condi- tion, he was killed. Jones was not in the em- ploy of the owner of the mines, but was hired, along with an engine, to take waggons out of the works to the Great Western Railway. He was employed by Messrs. Cudworth and John- son, engineers, Wrexham, and arrived on the works on the morning of September 27, having evidently been imbibing. The foreman told him he was not fit to work, but he replied that he was all righc, and he would be responsible. He had nothing to do with the engine until two in the morning. During the morning he was fixing a gauge glass on the engine, and he broke several glasses. He worked the engine during the afternoon, and on the last journey he fell off the engine and was killed. The foreman told Jones he was not fit to work when he got on the engine in the afternoon, but he said he was all right. The foreman did not consider the man was entirely under his control, as he was employed by another firm. John Roberts, foreman of the works at the time of the accident, said he told Jones he was not fit to work, but he said he was all right and would be responsible. By Mr. Pierce: He said before the coroner that Jones worked the engine all right from two to six in the afternoon. It was a wet day, and the engine plate was slippery. The engine was a very old one, and it had been altered since the accident. Mr. Pierce handed a photo- graph of the engine to the witness, and witness said it was a very good one. Other evidence was to the effect that Jones was more drunk than sober,' and that his tea bottle contained spirits, and his tea-can beer. The brakesman, who usually assisted Jones* re- fused to go with him on the day of the accident, as he did not like the condition of the deceas- ed. Mr. Hopley Pierce contended that his friend had not made out that Jones had been guilty of gross and wilful misconduct. The foreman and one of the usual brakesmen had stated that Jones was drunk, but both of them rode on the engine with him on one of his journeys. The line was a ricketty affair, and the engine was such that it was quite easy for a sober man to fall off, owing to the position of the lever, while since the accident a rail had been placed on the engine to prevent a similar accident. His Honour said where it was proved a man who met with an accident was drunk, he would always hold that that was serious and wilful misconduct within the meaning of the Act. It was serious, because it affected his actions; and it was wilful, because it was his own act. It therefore came to a question of fact as to whether there was sufficient evidence to show that Jones was drunk. He was very sorry, but he could not come to any other conclusion than that the man was drunk, and therefore the case must fail. Mr. Bryn Roberts said they did not ask for costs.

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