Egan's Case

331 Mass. 11 (1954)

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Egan’s Case

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
331 Mass. 11 (1954)

Facts

Patrick Egan (plaintiff) was employed by the employer (defendant) as a taxicab driver. On March 3, 1949, Egan was driving his taxicab to Boston when he witnessed a police officer, outnumbered, with a gun aimed at three individuals. The officer requested that Egan go to the police station for help, so Egan complied and then returned. At the scene, Egan saw the officer threaten to shoot one of the individuals and became scared. Egan had difficulty swallowing, and his speech was affected. A few days later, on March 6, Egan experienced a spell of blindness and was unable to speak. Egan was hospitalized for 16 days and was diagnosed with cerebral hemorrhage with pseudobulbar palsy. Egan filed for workers’-compensation benefits. At the hearing, a medical expert testified to a causal relationship between Egan’s brain difficulties and the experience he had on March 3, 1949. The expert testified that Egan had experienced a minute hemorrhage that was exacerbated and resulted in his inability to speak. Egan was still unable to speak at the hearing. A single member of the Industrial Accident Board (the board) awarded compensation to Egan, which was later affirmed by the full board. The insurer (defendant) appealed, but the superior court found in favor of Egan. The insurer appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Counihan, J.)

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