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MCCLEARY v. PENNSYLVANIA ELECTRIC COMPANY ET AL. (06/11/57)

June 11, 1957

MCCLEARY
v.
PENNSYLVANIA ELECTRIC COMPANY ET AL., APPELLANTS.



Appeal, No. 156, April T., 195l, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Cambria County, Dec. T., 1955, No. 446, in case of Rose M. McCleary v. Pennsylvania Electric Company and Utilities Mutual Insurance Company. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Thomas A. Swope, with him Shettig, Swope & Shettig, for appellants.

Andrew J. Gleason, with him Ernest F. Walker, for appellee.

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

Author: Gunther

[ 184 Pa. Super. Page 186]

OPINION BY GUNTHER, J.

This is an appeal from the judgment of the Court of Common Pleas of Cambria County in sustaining a Workmen's Compensation award. The wife claimant filed a fatal claim petition for compensation for and in behalf of herself and four minor children, dependents of the deceased employe. The claimant alleged that her husband's death resulted from injuries sustained in a fall while in the employ of the defendant. The appeal is made by the defendant, Pennsylvania Electric Company and its insurance carrier, Utilities Mutual Insurance Company.

Newton J. McCleary, the decedent, was employed as a meter reader for the Pennsylvania Electric Company in Johnstown. On Friday, May 7, 1954, around 1:00 P.M., while engaged in the customary duties of his employment, he slipped and fell on an uneven brick

[ 184 Pa. Super. Page 187]

    sidewalk that was wet due to a recent rain, and he sustained an injury to his back from a flashlight which he carried in his hip pocket. He continued to work that day but in the evening he complained to his wife of pains in his back in the area of the bruise sustained and had difficulty in rising from a chair. The pain continued over the weekend and he attempted to relieve it by taking aspirins, anacin and applying heat. On Monday, May 10, 1954, McCleary went back to work and reported to his superiors that he had wrenched his back the Friday before and asked that he be taken to a hospital. That afternoon, a fellow worker drove him over to Mercy Hospital where he was examined by Dr. John J. Silenskey, an orthopedic surgeon, who found a red area in the lumbar region of decedent's back. X-rays were taken but no significant findings were disclosed. No treatment was prescribed except complete rest and decedent returned home.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, May 11 and 12, 1954, McCleary did not report for work. On Wednesday afternoon, he was driven to the hospital by his wife. He complained of the sharp pain in his back and was again examined by Dr. Silenskey who ordered him confined until May 15, 1954, at which time he was discharged. The treatment consisted of bed rest and sedation to relieve the pain. After returning home, he began to experience sharp pains in his back which radiated down to his legs. On Sunday, May 16, 1954, Dr. T. E. Seifert was summoned to McCleary's home and he administered morphine and heat. This did not reduce the pain and later that afternoon, upon being recalled, Dr. Seifert returned decedent to Mercy Hospital where he remained until May 24, 1954, the date of his death. At the hospital, he was under the care of Dr. Eugene Raymond, with whom Dr. Seifert was associated. On May 18, 1954, decedent began to complain

[ 184 Pa. Super. Page 188]

    of pain in his chest. On May 19, 1954, a myelogram was performed and X-rays again taken which were negative for any evidence of intervertebral disclesion. He was given diathermal treatments and his condition improved somewhat. On May 24, 1954, he was given permission by Dr. Seifert to go to the bathroom once each day. About 3:00 P.M. that afternoon, decedent went to the bathroom and while there got sick and weak. He returned to his bed, rang for a nurse who found him in a state of collapse, and Dr. Raymond was immediately summoned. The nurse found decedent without pulse and blood pressure. Oxygen, glucose, metrasol and other drugs were immediately used to overcome the collapse. At 3:57 P.M., decedent was able to ask: "Am I going to make it, Doctor?" Dr. Raymond replied: "Newton, keep your chin up, you're ...


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