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IRVIN ET AL. v. PLYMOUTH MEETING RUBBER DIVISION LINEAR (11/10/56)

November 10, 1956

IRVIN ET AL., APPELLANTS,
v.
PLYMOUTH MEETING RUBBER DIVISION LINEAR, INC.



Appeals, Nos. 201, 202, and 203, Oct T., 1956, from judgments of Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, Sept. T., 1955, Nos. 221, 222 and 223, in case of Viola A. Irvin, statutory dependent of William J. Irvin, dec'd., v. Plymouth Meeting Rubber Division Linear, Inc.; Lena Fay Irvin, Guardian for children of William J. Irvin, dec'd., v. Same; and Viola A. Irvin, widow of William J. Irvin, deceased, v. Same. Judgments affirmed.

COUNSEL

Alexander F. Barbieri, for appellants.

Frank R. Ambler, for appellee.

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

Author: Wright

[ 182 Pa. Super. Page 281]

OPINION BY WRIGHT, J.

This is a workmen's compensation case in which we are concerned with three appeals arising out of the same facts and involving substantially the same question.

[ 182 Pa. Super. Page 282]

Claimant in his lifetime filed a petition to set aside a final receipt. After his death, claim petitions were filed by the widow, and by the divorced former wife on behalf of the minor children. All three petitions were dismissed by the Referee, and the Board affirmed. Upon appeal to the Court of Common Pleas, the decisions of the Board were affirmed. These appeals to the Superior Court followed.

William J. Irvin commenced work for Plymouth Meeting Rubber Division Linear in January 1950. On April 6, 1950, he fell, striking his head and severely lacerating his scalp. Paragraph seven of the compensation agreement describes the accident as follows: "While operating cutting machine, claimant suffered a fainting spell and fell to the ground, and sustained scalp lacerations". After treatment in the Montgomery County Hospital, Irvin was discharged on April 12, 1950. Compensation was paid under the agreement for four weeks, from April 14, 1950, to May 11, 1950, when a final receipt was executed. Irvin never returned to work. On March 15, 1951, he filed a petition to set aside the final receipt and review paragraph seven of the agreement. Two hearings were held by the Referee. On February 1, 1952, Irvin died. The cause of death was malignant hypertension. After the claim petitions were filed by decedent's widow and his divorced former wife, further hearings were held. On June 21, 1954, the Referee dismissed the petition to set aside the final receipt on the ground that it "was not signed under mistake of fact, nor procured by fraud, coercion, or other improper conduct". On June 22, 1954, the Referee dismissed the dependency petitions, finding as a fact that: "From a preponderance of the medical testimony presented by claimant and defendant in support of their separate allegations, your Referee

[ 182 Pa. Super. Page 283]

    is of the opinion and finds as a fact that the death of the decedent on February 1, 1952, was neither caused nor aggravated by the accident of April 6, 1950, but was entirely due to causes unrelated to the accident".

Appellants contentions are all basically grounded upon the proposition that the findings of the compensation authorities were in capricious disregard of the uncontradicted evidence. Their position in this regard is that, when decedent fell on April 6, 1950, he suffered "a serious brain damage condition with concussion and cerebral contusion". The only evidence to support this theory was the record made when decedent was admitted to the hospital. At that time Dr. Joseph A. Brady noted on the case history, "My first impression is cerebral contusion". On the very next day, R. Brady noted on the record: "Seems to be free of any intracranial lesion". This second notation was confirmed by the x-rays, which failed to show any evidence of injury or increased pressure in the bones of the cranial vault. Moreover, an ...


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