Is An Assault on a Person During Course of His Duty Covered In Workmen's Compensation Law ?

In Toro v. 1700 First Avenue Corporation, the Court held that a resident superintendent of several apartment buildings, subject to call 24 hours of each day, was assaulted in the course of his employment by unknown assailant late in evening shortly after superintendent left apartment to fix boiler in another building, and that the assault was within coverage of Workmen's Compensation Law. The Appellate Division opinion stated: That the assault arose in the course of employment is demonstrated by uncontradicted evidence supplied in considerable measure by the employer itself... No personal motive is ascribed for the attack on deceased. It is gleanable that the board regarded robbery as its incentive. This is indicated by its statements concerning the absence of deceased's wallet and the finding of his keys in an automobile owned by one of the tenants to which he had access for the purpose of changing its parking place periodically to comply with municipal regulations and subsequently found by the police to have been abandoned some distance from the scene of the crime. The duties of deceased called him in the darkness of late evening to the basement of one of his employer's apartment houses to attend a faulty boiler about which tenants had complained. The site of his work was separated from the traveled way by an intervening courtyard and at least to some extent removed from public view. In this physically opportune setting the exposure to the danger of assault by a footpad clearly transcended the peril common to mankind in general. As an incident of the work deceased was thus brought 'within the zone of special danger' and in contact with the risk which caused his death. In these circumstances there is coverage under the Workmen's Compensation Law. See: Matter of Heidemann v. American Dist. Tel. Co., 230 N.Y. 305, 130 N.E. 302; Matter of Leonbruno v. Champlain Silk Mills, 229 N.Y. 470, 128 N.E. 711, 13 A.L.R. 522; Matter of Ramos v. Taxi Tr. Co., 276 App.Div. 101, 106, 92 N. Y.S.2d 744, 748, aff'd. 301 N.Y. 749, 95 N.E.2d 625; Matter of Christiansen v. Hill Reproduction Co., 262 App.Div. 379, 29 N.Y.S2d 24, aff'd. 287 N.Y. 690, 39 N.E.2d 300; Matter of Lanni v. Amsterdam Bldg. Co., 217 App.Div. 278, 216 N.Y.S. 763; Rosmuth v. American Radiator Co., 201 App.Div. 207, 193 N.Y.S. 769; 1 Larson, Workmen's Compensation Law, 11.33. See also Fiorello v. Anastasi Bros. Co., 28 A.D.2d 755, 280 N.Y.S.2d 884 [1967] [where baker arrived for work at employer's plant in rural area at 6:30 a.m., parked his automobile near garage doors leading into the plant and upon alighting was struck on the head by an unknown assailant and robbed of his wallet and ring, there was no claim of a personal or private animus unconnected with employment, and there was no contention that incident did not occur within time and space limits of employment, the accident was compensable as 'arising out of and during course of employment'); See Macari v. N. Y. Mid-Hudson Trans-Corp. (19 A.D.2d 671, 241 N.Y.S.2d 627 [1963] [accidental injury arising out of and in the course of employment was not established as causing the death of employee who was found murdered by an unknown assailant in his wife's automobile parked at the place where he customarily parked it while waiting for his place of employment to open].)