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SHICK v. WEST MOHAWK MINING COMPANY ET AL. (07/21/55)

July 21, 1955

SHICK, APPELLANT
v.
WEST MOHAWK MINING COMPANY ET AL.



Appeal, No. 63, April T., 1955, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Armstrong County, Sept. T., 1954, No. 362, in case of Doyle Shick v. West Mohawk Mining Company, Employer, State Workmen's Insurance Fund, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Judgment affirmed. Appeal by State Workmen's Insurance Fund from award by Workmen's Compensation Board.

COUNSEL

George Jerko and J. W. Stephenson submitted a brief for appellant.

C. A. Whitehouse, Associate Counsel, with him Ralph H. Behney, Counsel, and Herbert B. Cohen, Attorney General, for appellee.

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

Author: Woodside

[ 179 Pa. Super. Page 209]

OPINION BY WOODSIDE, J.

This is a workmen's compensation case in which we must determine the number of weeks the claimant is entitled to compensation.

The claimant lost his left hand in an industrial accident on June 17, 1917, and received compensation for 175 weeks under section 306(c) of the Workmen's Compensation Act of June 2, 1915, P.L. 736. On June 1, 1950 the claimant suffered another compensable accident in which he lost the use of his right hand. For this injury he again received compensation for 175 weeks under the aforesaid section, as amended, 77 PS § 513.

On October 15, 1953 the claimant was found to be totally and permanently disabled as the result of the two injuries, and was allowed compensation by the referee for an additional period of 150 weeks under the provisions of section 306(a) of the aforesaid act, as amended, 77 PS § 511.

The referee concluded that in calculating the total of 500 weeks compensation allowed under the section, there had to be deducted therefrom the total of 350 weeks compensation paid the claimant by virtue of the two accidents which jointly caused his total disability. Upon appeal the Workmen's Compensation Board reversed the referee, holding that the 175 week payment made for the first injury should not be deducted from the 500 week maximum, and that the claimant was entitled to 325 additional weeks compensation for permanent

[ 179 Pa. Super. Page 210]

    total disability instead of the 150 weeks as the referee had held. The Court of Common Pleas of Armstrong County, to which an appeal was taken, reversed the board.

The problem which arises in this case is the proper interpretation of the Second Injuries Reserve Section (306.1 of the Workmen's Compensation Act, added by Act of May 29, 1945, P.L. 1186 and amended by the Act of June 21, 1947, P.L. 873.) This section as it relates to this case provides as follows: "If an employe, who has incurred (through accident or otherwise) permanent partial disability, through the loss, or loss of use of, one hand, one arm, one foot, one leg or one eye, incurs total disability through a subsequent injury, causing loss, or loss of use of, another hand, arm, foot, leg or eye, he shall be entitled to additional compensation as follows: After the cessation of payments by the employer for the period of weeks prescribed in Clause (c) hereof, for the subsequent injury, additional compensation shall be paid during the continuance of total disability, at the weekly compensation rate applicable for total disability, for the remainder of the five hundred week period provided in Clause (a) hereof. This additional compensation shall be paid by the Commonwealth only upon an award by a compensation referee or the board." Clauses "(c)" and "(a)" referred to above, as they relate to this case provide: "(c) For all disability resulting from permanent injuries of the following classes, the compensation shall be exclusively as ...


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