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LORIGAN v. W. O. GULBRANSON (06/11/57)

June 11, 1957

LORIGAN
v.
W. O. GULBRANSON, INC., APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 134, Oct. T., 1957, from order of Common Pleas Court of Clearfiedld County, Nov. T., 1956, No. 17, in case of Mary Lorigan, claimant, Widow of Cyril P. Lorigan, deceased, v. W. O. Gulbranson, Inc. Order reversed.

COUNSEL

Joseph J. Lee, with him Frank A. Whitsett and Whitsett & Lee, for appellant.

David L. Baird, with him John J. McCamley and Baird and McCamley, for appellee.

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

Author: Gunther

[ 184 Pa. Super. Page 252]

OPINION BY GUNTHER, J.

This appeal is from a decision of the Court of Common Pleas of Clearfield County. It involves a workmen's compensation claim with a history as follows: Cyril P. Lorigan, decedent, was employed as a dragline operator on defendant's coal stripping operation. His other duties included assisting in making repairs when repairs were necessary. On April 5, 1955, it became necessary to replace a bucket tooth. Decedent helped to remove the tooth by swinging against it a

[ 184 Pa. Super. Page 253]

    twelve pound sledge with his helper using an iron bar. This operation required a period of thirty-five to forty-five minutes. After the tooth was removed, decedent climbed into the main body of the shovel where in about twenty-five to forty minutes later he appeared to be in distress. This attracted the attention of his oiler, who helped to remove decedent to the Philipsburg Hospital where death occurred four hours later.

An autopsy was performed and determined that the cause of death was coronary insufficiency. Decedent was found with an enlarged heart, a degenerative condition of the heart muscles and sclerosis in the large coronary vessels. According to medical testimony, it was a condition of long standing.

The referee found that death resulted from an acute heart condition precipitated by over-exertion in swinging a sledge. He concluded that it was an accidental injury as contemplated by the Workmen's Compensation Act.

On appeal, the board reversed the referee's finding and made its own findings as follows:

"That the evidence does not unequivocally show that the death was precipitated by the decedent's labors on ...


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