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HAGER v. BETHLEHEM MINES CORP. (06/11/57)

June 11, 1957

HAGER
v.
BETHLEHEM MINES CORP., APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 194, April T., 1956, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Washington County, Nov. T., 1953, No. 264, in case of Percy Hager v. Bethlehem Mines Corp. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Thomas Lewis Jones, with him John B. McCreight and McCreight & McCreight, for appellant.

George I. Bloom, with him Jerome Hahn and Bloom, Bloom & Yard, for appellee.

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

Author: Ervin

[ 183 Pa. Super. Page 500]

OPINION BY ERVIN, J.

This is a workmen's compensation appeal. The Workmen's Compensation Board reversed the referee and found in favor of the claimant. The court below affirmed the award.

The board having found in favor of the claimant, we are obliged to review the evidence in the light most favorable to the claimant and he is entitled to the benefit of every reasonable inference deducible therefrom. Santillo v. Pittsburgh Railways Co., 181 Pa. Superior Ct. 266, 124 A.2d 657.

Percy Hager was employed by the defendant as a shot firer in its coal mine. On Friday, December 8, 1950 a fifty-ton rock fall occurred in the mine. The fall was caused by mine cars crashing into supporting timbers. The assistant mine foreman prepared eight shots, each containing four sticks of dynamite, and placed them on the fall. The claimant refused to fire the shot because the charge was too powerful. The assistant mine foreman unexpectedly fired the 32 sticks of dynamite at one time when the claimant was only 45 to 50 feet away. The blast ripped open the doors in the section. Immediately the claimant felt a pain in his head and his left arm, hand and leg became numb. He further testified: "After that I staggered to the man trip; I was dazed, and I staggered to the man trip and I just felt like somebody gave me a punch in the head; I staggered to this man trip car and I didn't remember what happened until 10 o'clock in the night after I came to; I was in the bottom

[ 183 Pa. Super. Page 501]

    of the shaft and men were crawling over me at the bottom of the shaft; I came to myself."

There was progressive paralysis involving the left arm and leg, with increasing external hemorrhage in the right eye so that by the Monday following the explosion he was completely paralyzed on the left side. The claimant suffered a cerebral hemorrhage caused by the explosion.

In our consideration of the case we may not independently weigh the evidence and substitute new findings for those of the board where the findings of the board are supported by the evidence. Nelson v. Borough ...


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