Paul H. Ferguson, Philadelphia, for appellants.
Alexander F. Barbieri, Philadelphia, for appellee.
Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hirt, Reno, Dithrich, Ross, Gunther and Wright, JJ.
[ 173 Pa. Super. Page 517]
This is a workmen's compensation case. On February 19, 1944, while walking downstairs in the course of her employment, claimant's heel caught and she fell down several steps. The resulting injuries were described as 'contusions of body and bursitis of right shoulder -- also concussion'. Claimant received compensation for total disability and later for partial disability until November 27, 1949, the end of the 300 week period. Subsequently claimant filed a petition for reinstatement alleging that she had become totally disabled as a result of the accident. The Referee granted the petition and awarded compensation. His order was affirmed by the Board and the lower court, and this appeal followed.
Since October 9, 1947, claimant has been under the care of Dr. Herman Frieman. X-ray examination disclosed a calcified bursitis caused by the original fall. There is no contradiction of the testimony of Dr. Frieman that the only cure for such condition was operative removal of the bursa. The operation was performed on March 11, 1948, and the hospital records relate the following occurrence in the operating room:
[ 173 Pa. Super. Page 518]
'Patient had partial excision of right subdeltoid bursitis this afternoon. Just post-operative, when patient had been removed from operating room table to litter, two people, one at each end of the litter, were attempting to move the litter sideways to get it away from the operating room table. In so doing the mattress slid off the litter and with it the patient. She apparently struck the floor with her head and shoulders, sustaining a slight abrasion of the right parietal area. Patient had not yet reacted from anesthesia at time and was unconscious at time of fall'.
Dr. Frieman's testimony is to the effect that claimant's present complaints are due to a cerebral concussion sustained in the fall immediately after the operation. Appellant therefore contends 'that there is no causal relationship between the injury sustained by the claimant in the course of her employment with the defendant on February 19, 1944, and the post concussion syndrome which is presently causing her disability and which resulted from the fall in the operating room'. We are not in agreement with this contention.
In considering compensation cases two general principles must be kept in mind. (1) The Workmen's Compensation Act, 77 P.S. § 1 et seq., is a remedial statute and is to receive a liberal construction. Pater v. Superior Steel Co., 263 Pa. 244, 106 A. 202; Ottavi v. Burke Stripping Co., 140 Pa. Super. 389, 14 A.2d 188. (2) Since the compensation authorities have found in claimant's favor, the evidence must be viewed in the light most favorable to her, and she must be given the benefit of every inference reasonably deducible therefrom. Halloway v. Carnegie-Illinois Steel Corp., 173 Pa. Super. 137, 145, 96 A.2d 171.
Counsel for appellant relies mainly on the cases of Wengryn v. Superior Steel ...