Sandburn v. Hall
121 Ind.App. 428 (1951)

Facts:

  • Hall bought a house that needed some fixing, so he hired the plaintiff, who was a carpenter.
  • He was injured when he was plastering a ceiling and plaster fell in his eye.
    • He didn’t have any other employment while working on this job.
    • The total time for the job took around 6-8 weeks.
  • He then filed a claim for workers’ compensation.
    • Note: Hall owned a hardware and machinery business but no services were performed for this business.

History:
The Industrial Board denied the claim, finding that the plaintiff was performing services both casual and not in the course of employer’s regular business.

Issue:
Whether employee’s employment was casual or regular.

Holding:
Regular. Case reversed.

Reasoning:

  • ‘There is no hard and fast rule by which it can clearly and unfailingly be determined where to draw the line between employments which are casual and those which are not. Each case must rest, in the final analysis, upon its own facts and circumstances.”
  • “Employment which is to last but a short time, not more than three or four days or a week, and is for a limited and temporary purpose, is casual. But an employment, though for a single piece or job of work, which lasts for several weeks or months, or for an indefinite period, is usually regarded as regular and not casual employment.”
  • Here, the employment was for a single job which would last for a considerable period of time, and the work to be done was substantial in its nature.

Rule: Employment which is to last but a short time, not more than three or four days or a week, and is for a limited and temporary purpose, is casual. But an employment, though for a single piece or job of work, which lasts for several weeks or months, or for an indefinite period, and the work is substantial, is usually regarded as regular and not casual employment.