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KRAMER v. PHILADELPHIA (07/21/55)

July 21, 1955

KRAMER
v.
PHILADELPHIA, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 98, Oct. T., 1955, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas No. 3 of Philadelphia County, March T., 1954, No. 5745, in case of Helen Kramer, widow of Valentine Kramer, dec'd., v. City of Philadelphia. Judgment affirmed. Appeal by employer from award by Workmen's Compensation Board.

COUNSEL

Levy Anderson, Deputy City Solicitor, with him James D. McCrudden, Assistant City Solicitor, Jerome J. Shestack, First Deputy City Solicitor, and Abraham L. Freedman, City Solicitor, for appellant.

Alexander F. Barbieri, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Ross, Gunther, Wright, Woodside, and Ervin, JJ.

Author: Ervin

[ 179 Pa. Super. Page 130]

OPINION BY ERVIN, J.

Claimant, widow of Valentine Kramer, filed a petition for workmen's compensation on behalf of herself and minor child for the death of her husband. The petition set forth that deceased died on April 28, 1952 as the result of injuries sustained on November 15, 1951 while operating a motorcycle in the course of his employment. The defendant employer, the City of Philadelphia, filed an answer stating: "The City of Philadelphia stands ready and willing to pay compensation upon the presentation of proper proofs required under the provisions of the Workmen's Compensation Act." The Workmen's Compensation Board affirmed the award of the referee, and the court below, on appeal by the defendant, sustained the award and entered judgment thereon. This appeal was taken by the City of Philadelphia.

The facts, which are not in dispute, disclose that Valentine Kramer was employed by the City of Philadelphia as a motorcycle patrolman in the Highway Patrol of the Philadelphia Police Department. He had requested and was granted permission by his superior officer to use the motorcycle assigned to him as a means of transportation to and from his home and the police station to which he had to report. On November 15, 1951, Kramer had finished his tour of duty at 7:00 o'clock p.m. and had driven home on the motorcycle. He arrived home about 7:30 o'clock p.m. After arriving home, Kramer washed the motorcycle and then

[ 179 Pa. Super. Page 131]

    ate his dinner. After dinner he proceeded to drive the machine to the private garage just down the street from where he resided where he was accustomed to garaging the motorcycle. While en route to the garage Kramer either fell or was thrown from the motorcycle. When he returned to his home shortly thereafter he was cut and bruised. He was taken to Temple University Hospital for treatment and the next day was examined by his family doctor who described his findings as follows: "There was severe contusion of the entire left chest wall; brush burns and contusion of the entire left face; traumatic injury to the left elbow. ..." As a result of the accident Kramer remained away from duty for a period of two weeks and when he returned to duty he was assigned not as a motorcycle patrolman but as a patrolman in the "white and black car" unit of the Highway Patrol. Kramer had been in good health prior to the accident on November 15, 1951, but after the accident he suffered a general decline in his health and a decided change in his personality. His hair turned white, he lost weight, he complained frequently of various aches and pains and his consumption of food lessened considerably. Though he was generally regarded by his family and friends as a genial and jovial man who enjoyed life his personality underwent a complete change after the accident and he became morose and depressed. On April 28, 1952, Valentine Kramer died while he was dressing in preparation for a trip to Washington, D.C. to testify in response to a subpoena by the F.B.I. As a result of the inquest the coroner directed that a death certificate be issued, reading as follows: "Cause of Death: ACUTE CARDIAC DILATATION: CORONARY INSUFFICIENCY, and OLD CARDIAC CONTUSION OF THE HEART,".

It is conceded that the decedent died from injuries received when he fell or was thrown from his motorcycle

[ 179 Pa. Super. Page 132]

    while driving it to the garage. Consequently the sole question for our determination is whether the injuries occurred in ...


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