Karl E. Weise, Hirsch, & Shumaker, Pittsburgh, for defendant and Insurance Carrier.
Ralph H. Behney and M. L. Tolochko, both of Harrisburg, T. McKeen Chidsey, Atty. Gen., for appellants.
Samuel Krimsly, Pittsburgh, for appellee.
Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hirt, Reno, Dithrich, Ross and Arnold, JJ.
[ 167 Pa. Super. Page 309]
In this occupational disease case claimant was awarded compensation for total disability as a result of silicosis. Twice the referee disallowed the claim. In the first instance the board remanded the case for the purpose of determining the date of total disability. After hearing the referee again dismissed the claim. On appeal the board set aside his findings, and found: (1) Claimant had been engaged in an occupation having a silica hazard within the Pennsylvania Occupational Disease Act of
[ 167 Pa. Super. Page 310]
June 21, 1939, P. L. 566, as amended, 77 P.S. § 1201 et seq.; and (2) claimant became totally disabled on July 9, 1946. The court below affirmed the board's decision. The employer, its insurance carrier, and the Commonwealth appealed.
The right of the board to substitute its findings for those of the referee with or without taking additional testimony is not challenged. Kenny v. Esslinger's Brewery, 161 Pa. Super. 451, 55 A.2d 554.
The only question before us is whether there is sufficient competent evidence to support the findings. Defendants offered no testimony. As the compensation authorities found in favor of claimant, the evidence must be reviewed in the light most favorable to him, and he receives the benefit of inferences reasonably deducible therefrom. Lambing v. Consolidation Coal Co., 161 Pa. Super. 346, 54 A.2d 291; Premaza v. Hanze, 163 Pa. Super. 412, 61 A.2d 773.
Claimant was employed as a coal miner for over thirty years. He worked for the defendant from 1924 to 1926, returned to its employ in 1936, and for the first year and a half worked as a jack hammer operator, drilling through sand rock. In explaining the dust created by the drilling he testified: 'it was white rock dust' and '[i]t was so dusty that you could hardly see where you were at.'*fn1 From 1938 until June 2, 1945 he worked as a coal loader. These duties also required him to drill through sulpher and coal with a hand drill. He was compelled to enter a room immediately after 'the shots [of powder] were fired', and while it was still ...