Collins v. American Buslines, Inc.

RESPONDENT: American Buslines, Inc.

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1955-1956)

ARGUED: Mar 29, 1956
DECIDED: Apr 09, 1956

Facts of the case


Media for Collins v. American Buslines, Inc.

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 29, 1956 in Collins v. American Buslines, Inc.

Earl Warren:

Number 523, Joan Greenway Collins et al., versus American Buslines Incorporated, Respondent Employer.

Mr. Frank.

John P. Frank:

May it please the Court.

This matter comes here on a petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court of the State of Arizona.

The parties are, first, the petitioners, Joan Collins, a widow, and her infant son, the defendant, corporation, American Buslines, and the defendant, Industrial Commission of Arizona.

Mrs. Collins is the widow of one Adolphus Collins, whose death gives rise to this action, and Adolphus Collins was employed as a bus driver by the corporate defendant.

Under the law of Arizona, the claim for industrial compensation, which is made here, will result and recompense being made, if any should be allowed by this Court, will result in recompense being made to Mrs. Collins from a fund which is maintained by the Industrial Commission of Arizona.

And hence, so far as Mrs. Collins is concerned, her only interest is with the Industrial Commission.

And hence, that is the only active or participating defendant here.

The American Buslines Company is a Nebraska Corporation; it is in receivership in Nebraska.

It has been duly informed and notified at all times with the process of this matter from the beginning to this moment, it has not participated.

Should you decide the matter in favor of the petitioners, there will be a possible result in claim of the Industrial Commission against the Buslines, but that will be a separate action and will have to worry itself along, independent of -- of what we do here.

Hence, this is a controversy for all practical and real purposes between the petitioner and the Industrial Commission of Arizona.

Now, the facts of the matter are these, the husband of the petitioning widow was originally employed as a bus driver by the defendant corporation at El Paso, Texas, and I believe, 1951.

The company moved him from El Paso to Arizona.

And there, for some time, he operated the run from Tucson, Arizona, to Phoenix, Arizona.

In the course of that operation, he became acquainted with and married the widow here, a girl from Phoenix, and they lived there for a time.

Then, subsequently, the deceased was transferred by his company from the Tucson, Phoenix run to the Phoenix, Los Angeles run, an operation entirely in interstate commerce.

And at that time, he took his little family, then an -- an infant of a few-weeks-old and wife, over to Los Angeles where they rented a trailer.

And while he kept a mail address in Phoenix, he was in fact living in -- insofar as he had any formal legal residence, it was -- we will concede Los Angeles, in -- in the trailer there.

His job consisted of driving from Los Angeles to Phoenix or return from Phoenix to Los Angeles.

The mileage was approximately 60% in California, about 40% in our own State of Arizona.

The company, as I say, has been in financial difficulties.

Whether that does or does not account for the incident, I have no idea at all.

We've merely speculated, but it was in any case using retread tires and one of them blew out at Wickenburg, Arizona, killing Adolphus Henry Collins in the resulting crash.

His widow instituted proceedings for industrial compensation in the State of Arizona before the Industrial Commission there.

Let me explain that insofar as she had choice as between California and Arizona, she chose Arizona for the obvious reason, which is that Arizona has extremely high compensation in death cases, California, very low.

The California compensation would run something like $6000, perhaps, the Arizona compensation closer to $75,000.

So then, hence, she sought to -- to do what anyone would do under the circumstances, to pursue the Arizona remedy, if she had one.

This is the details, although, I think they're not relevant to -- to any matter, which you need to decide.