P. K. Motheral, Reed, Smith, Shaw & McClay, Pittsburgh, for appellant.
Murray J. & Fred J. Jordan, Pittsburgh, for appellee.
Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hirt, Reno, Dithrich, Ross and Gunther, JJ.
[ 173 Pa. Super. Page 138]
This is a workmen's compensation case wherein the claimant, Mrs. Cleather Halloway, seeks compensation for herself and her three minor children for the death of her husband, Troy Halloway. The compensation authorities found in favor of claimant and made an award. The employer, Carnegie-Illinois Steel Corporation (now United States Steel Company), appealed to the County Court of Allegheny County, which court dismissed its exceptions and entered judgment on the award, and this appeal by the employer followed.
The deceased was employed by the defendant at its Homestead plant as a laborer. On November 6, 1948 he left home for work at about 7 a. m. and checked in for work at the defendant's plant on the 8 a. m. to 4 p. m. shift. He did not check out of the plant when he should have at the end of his work day and a fruitless search was conducted for him on November 6 and the following day. In the course of the search Halloway's street clothes were found in his locker in the plant locker room.
On November 14 a 'derrick boat' operated by employes of the defendant was engaged in dredging silt from the Monongahela River in front of a water intake installation constructed by the steel corporation on the
[ 173 Pa. Super. Page 139]
river bank adjacent to its plant. At about 5:15 p. m. the 'clam shell bucket' of the boat struck and raised the body of Halloway, which had been submerged about 12 feet out from the face of the water intake installation. The compensation authorities found as a fact that the deceased died as the result of drowning on November 6, 1948, and this finding is not questioned by defendant.
The principal question in this case is raised by the following finding of fact made by the referee and affirmed by the board: 'Eleventh: Your Referee finds as a fact that the decedent met his death by accidental drowning on the premises under the control of the defendant company and near where the decedent would have to work, and during the course of his employment.' The crux of the defendant's argument is that there is no competent evidence to support the conclusion that deceased met his death 'near' where his duties required him to be. Defendant contends that Halloway's duties were limited to that part of its plant known as 'Open Hearth Building No. 5' or 'O H 5', which is some 300 feet from the pier of the water intake.
The evidence bearing on the question of the area over which the deceased performed his duties may be summarized as follows: Claimant's witness, Raymond Hunt, a fellow employe, testified that Halloway 'worked all over the place' and that 'he was a handy-man. * * * he did a little of everything'. In response to the question 'Do you know whether or not he was sent from one part to another to work any place?' the witness ...