The superior court affirmed an order of the Alaska Workmen's Compensation Board which awarded appellee, Ruth Ann Dull, compensation because of the accidental death of her husband, Donald Dull. On this appeal the principal question presented is whether Dull's death arose out of and in the course of his employment with the appellant, City of Juneau.
Dull was employed by the City of Juneau as a police inspector. While on duty on October 18, 1964, he engaged in the practice of "quick draw" with a fellow police officer, Eugene Coombs. This practice consisted of the two men, while facing each other, rapidly drawing and firing unloaded pistols to see who could draw and fire the faster.
At the conclusion of this practice the two men loaded their pistols and holstered them and Coombs left Dull's office. Almost immediately, Coombs returned to the office and attempted to test Dull's
Appellant contends that Dull and Coombs had been engaged in horseplay, that Dull was the instigator of the horseplay that led to his death, and that under the rule of the majority of courts Dull's death was not compensable because as the instigator of horseplay he had deviated from, and his death therefore did not arise in the course of his employment.
This was not a horseplay situation.
In his capacity as a police inspector Dull was required to associate with fellow police officers who, while on duty, carried loaded pistols. Because of the propensity and customary practice of police officers in the City of Juneau to test their reflexes by fake draws of their weapons, and because of imperfections in human nature that might lead, as it did here, to a moment of carelessness where an officer would actually draw and fire a loaded pistol, there was involved in Dull's association with other officers the risk of injury or death resulting from the careless use of pistols.
The Workmen's Compensation Board awarded appellee, Ruth Ann Dull, compensation in the amount of 35 per cent of her deceased husband's average weekly wages, together with additional benefits in the amount of 15 per cent of such wages for appellee's child by a previous marriage, Sherry L. Gregg. Appellants contend that the award of benefits for the
AS 23.30.215(a) (2) provides for the award of compensation known as a death benefit as follows:
AS 23.30.265(4) defines "child" as including "a stepchild * * * dependent upon the deceased, but does not include married children unless wholly dependent on him."
Sherry Gregg was Dull's stepchild. The question is whether she was "dependent upon" Dull within the meaning of the statute. The Board found that she was, and we hold that such finding is supported by substantial evidence. The record shows that the child had been living with her mother and Dull for approximately four and one-half months prior to Dull's death, that the monthly expenses for baby sitting and for food and clothes and medical care for the child, to which Dull had contributed, were about $185 a month and that the monthly payment on the house in which the family lived was $201 which did not include heat and utilities. From this evidence the Board was justified in finding that Sherry Gregg had been dependent upon her stepfather, for the child was unquestionably deprived of a source of support by reason of her stepfather's death.
The fact that support was also furnished the child by her natural father is immaterial. A child can be dependent upon more than one person. The statute speaks only of a child who is "dependent" upon the deceased; it does not specify sole dependency as a condition of an award of compensation.
The judgment is affirmed.