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KUGRIS v. HAMMOND COAL CO. ET AL. (12/29/53)

December 29, 1953

KUGRIS
v.
HAMMOND COAL CO. ET AL.



COUNSEL

Thomas B. Noonan, Mahanoy City, Thomas L. Kennedy, Jr., Hazleton, for appellant.

E. Mac Troutman, Penrose Hertzler, Pottsville, for appellees.

Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hirt, Reno, Ross, Gunther, Wright and Woodside, JJ.

Author: Reno

[ 174 Pa. Super. Page 378]

RENO, Judge.

Appellant's husband, Frank Kugris, became totally disabled by anthracosilicosis on July 19, 1947, and his last day of employment was July 18, 1947. He was allowed occupational disease compensation and during his lifetime collected the entire award of $4,000. He died on May 27, 1951, as a result of the disease, and on June 27, 1951, appellant filed a claim for $200 for burial expenses. The claim was disallowed by the referee and the Workmen's Compensation Board affirmed.

The referee based his disallowance upon the conclusions '2. Having found claimant's decedent was paid compensation in full during his lifetime, no compensation is payable.' The Board affirmed that conclusion and added another: '3. Since the decedent's death occurred more than three years after his last employment in an occupation having a silica hazard, claimant is not entitled to the expenses of the burial of her deceased.'

[ 174 Pa. Super. Page 379]

The court below affirmed the Board, resting its judgment upon the referee's conclusion. The widow appealed. The employer, Hammond Coal Company, and its insurance carrier, Coal Operators Casualty Company, are the appellees. The appeal calls for a review of both conclusions quoted above.

Kugris' last day of employment was July 18, 1947 and his disability began on the day following. Therefore appellant's case must be adjudged according to the legislation then in force which was The Pennsylvania Occupational Disease Act of June 21, 1939, P.L. 566, as amended by the Act of May 18, 1945, P.L. 661, which became effective on July 1, 1945. The pertinent sections of the Acts follow:

Act of 1945, supra, § 301(a) 2: 'The maximum compensation payable under this article for disability and death resulting from silicosis, anthracosilicosis, or asbestosis shall not exceed the sum of four thousand dollars ($4000), which shall be full and complete payment for all disability, present or future, or for death from such occupational diseases arising out of employment by any and all employers in this Commonwealth.'*fn1 (Emphasis added.)

Act of 1939, supra, § 301(c): '* * * Wherever death is mentioned as a cause for compensation under this act, it shall mean only death resulting from occupational disease and occurring within three years after the date of his last employment in such occupation or industry.' (Emphasis added.)

Act of 1945, supra, § 307: 'In case of death resulting from occupational disease, compensation shall be computed on the ...


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