Alexander F. Barbieri, Philadelphia, for appellant.
Samuel H. Torchia, David L. Ullman, Philadelphia, for appellee.
Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hirt, Reno, Dithrich, Ross, Arnold and Gunther, JJ.
[ 169 Pa. Super. Page 201]
On October 15, 1943, Dmitro Mytzak, while in the course of his employment with defendant, suffered an accidental injury which necessitated his hospitalization for a period of two weeks. He received compensation from October 22, 1943, until his return to work November 9, 1943. However, on February 5, 1944, being very ill, he was taken home from work by the employer's nurse. Three days later he was admitted to the Episcopal Hospital in Philadelphia, where he died February 22, 1944. The death certificate recited uremia as the immediate cause of death and the hospital records indicated a final diagnosis of uremia, hypertensive cardiovascular disease, benign prostatic hypertrophy.
Tillie Mytzak,*fn1 widow of the deceased employee, on behalf of herself and a little girl to whom she and the decedent had stood in loco parentis, petitioned for compensation under the Workmen's Compensation Act, 77 P.S. § 1 et seq. By way of defense defendant averred 'The decedent died solely as a result of systemic conditions unassociated
[ 169 Pa. Super. Page 202]
in any way with any accident sustained in the course of his employment.'
The referee disallowed the claim but the Board remanded the case for the purpose of admitting certain testimony of claimant's medical witnesses which the referee had excluded. After a rehearing the referee again disallowed the claim, finding that the 'disease which caused the death of Dmytro Mytzak was neither caused nor aggravated by the accident.' Substituting its own findings for those of the referee pertaining to the issue of causal connection, the Board reversed the referee, finding as a fact 'that the injury sustained by the decedent aggravated his pre-existing condition and caused his death.' The award was affirmed by the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County and judgment was entered in favor of claimant. This appeal followed.
In resolving the difficulties in this case we must review the evidence in the light most favorable to the claimant, for whom the Board has found, and must give her the benefit of every inference reasonably deducible therefrom. Lemmon v. Pennsylvania Department of Highways, 164 Pa. Super. 254, 63 A.2d 684. Bearing that in mind, in addition to the facts already noted, the record discloses the following. The accident occurred when a polishing manifold wheel struck decedent's face, resulting in a laceration of the lower lip, the breaking of two teeth, and the loosening of a third which was later extracted. He was taken home in a weakened condition, complaining of pain in the left side of his head, and on the following day entered the hospital. He returned to his job though his physician, Dr. Louis P. Gefter, felt he was too sick to do more than light work. He continued to work until he was taken home on the fifth of February, at which time he bled from the nose to the extent that Dr. Gefter had to administer a hypodermic to check the
[ 169 Pa. Super. Page 203]
bleeding. Later, having difficulty in passing urine, he was finally sent to the ...