Frederick L. Fuges, Philadelphia, for appellants.
Alexander F. Barbieri, Philadelphia, for appellee.
Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hirt, Reno, Dithrich, Ross, Arnold and Gunther, JJ.
[ 172 Pa. Super. Page 485]
The employer and insurance carrier appealed from an order of the court below sustaining the findings of
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the Workmen's Compensation Board which awarded compensation to claimant for a total disability resulting from a heat stroke and $2,051.50 for nursing services.*fn1
The basic question is whether the heat stroke which claimant admittedly suffered while at work on July 29, 1949, was an accident within the meaning of the Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act of June 21, 1939, P.L. 520, § 301(c), as amended, 77 P.S., § 411.
Claimant, aged 38, in robust health, except for a possible arthritic condition, was a painter, working at his trade at a new printing plant in Wayne, a suburb of Philadelphia. A meteorologist employed by the United States Weather Bureau testified that the temperature in the Philadelphia area on July 28 and July 29, 1946 was in the middle 90's, 10 degrees above normal, and reached 95 on July 28th and 96 on July 29th. On July 28th claimant was painting on the outside of the plant; and at noon, the heat having become stifling, he stated that he was not feeling well, and was driven to his home by a fellow workman who had also quit his work for the same reason. During the evening a thunderstorm cooled the temperature to 71 degrees and the next morning claimant returned to his work, apparently fully recovered from the slight indisposition of the preceding day.
On July 29th claimant alone was painting the interior walls of a toilet room, (3 feet 8 inches wide, 6 feet 9 inches long, 9 feet from floor to ceiling, in the one-story plant, with a slag roof, without shade above it or ventilation or circulating air in it. The toilet
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room was part of a wash room (15 feet long by 6 feet 9 inches wide) which had no windows or ventilators but did have three doors, none of which led to the outside, and with little or no circulation of air. After eating his lunch on the outside, he resumed his work, and an hour later stumbled through the swinging doors into the wash room where he became unconscious. His fellow workmen attempted to revive him without success and he was taken to the Bryn Mawr Hospital where his rectal temperature registered 109 degrees, and was found to be in a critical condition. Perspiration ceased, congestion of his vital organs followed, and eventually his condition was diagnosed as encephalopathy, a destruction ...