EDGERTON, Associate Justice.
This case involves the validity of an award of compensation
Before a compensation order has become "final," under § 921 of the act, by the lapse of 30 days, it has been assumed that the deputy commissioner may vacate it. Globe Stevedoring Company, Inc., v. Peters, D.C., 57 F.2d 256, 259; Crescent Wharf & Warehouse Company
But wholly irrespective of the vacating order, the deputy commissioner had authority, under § 922 of the act, to hold the new hearing of October 29, 1936, and issue the compensation order of March 3, 1937. Section 922 provides:
"Upon his own initiative * * * because of a mistake in a determination of fact by the deputy commissioner, the deputy commissioner may, at any time prior to one year after the date of the last payment of compensation, whether or not a compensation order has been issued, review a compensation case in accordance with the procedure prescribed in respect of claims in section 919 of this chapter, and in accordance with such section issue a new compensation order which may terminate, continue, reinstate, increase, or decrease such compensation. * * *"
As the deputy commissioner's later findings of fact contradicted his earlier ones, evidently he thought that a "mistake in a determination of fact" had been made. An order rejecting a claim for compensation is a compensation order;
The second hearing was in October, and the compensation order was not issued until the following March, whereas § 919 provides that the deputy commissioner "shall within twenty days after such hearing is had, by order, reject the claim or make an award in respect of the claim." But this limitation is directory, not mandatory or jurisdictional. Coombs v. Industrial Accident Commission, 76 Cal.App. 565, 245 P. 445; Home Petroleum Company v. Chipman, 106 Okl. 225, 233 P. 738; Fallon v. Hattemer, 229 App.Div. 397, 242 N.Y.S. 93. The insurance carrier did not ask for a prompt decision. It cannot complain now of the fact that it was allowed to withhold compensation payments until March when it should have been required to commence them in November.
Appellant seriously contends that because Steadman was the only surviving witness of the homicide, it is arbitrary and capricious not to believe his story that Jennings attacked him and that he killed Jennings in self-defense. If this doctrine were law, murderers would be safer and peaceful citizens less safe than they are; for it would mean that a man need only catch his enemy alone to kill him with impunity. The deputy commissioner based his rejection of Steadman's self-defense story on three grounds: his self-interest, discrepancies in his statements, and his physique in relation to Jenning's height of 5 feet 6 inches and weight of 102 pounds. Appellant attacks these grounds of rejection, but without reason. Though Steadman had been acquitted of murder he still had, as everyone has, social and economic interests in being thought innocent. His original confession did not, and his later testimony did, put a knife in Jenning's hands. There was no testimony about Steadman's physique, but the deputy commissioner saw him testify, and it was as proper for the deputy commissioner to use his eyes as his ears. Joyce v. United States Deputy Commissioner for First Compensation District, D. C., 33 F.2d 218. Steadman's flight, also, had some tendency to discredit his story. The evidence did not require a finding that the death of Jennings resulted from his "willful intention * * * to injure or kill" Steadman.
The evidence supports the finding that the death arose out of the employment. This court has held that an unexplained attack upon a workman by a stranger, on the employer's premises, arose out of the employment. Hartford Accident & Indemnity v. Hoage, 66 App.D.C. 160, 85 F.2d 417. A fortiori if, as here, a quarrel over work leads one employee to