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HOLLENBACH v. NORTH WALES FOUNDRY COMPANY (11/12/57)

November 12, 1957

HOLLENBACH, APPELLANT,
v.
NORTH WALES FOUNDRY COMPANY, INC.



Appeal, No. 305, Oct. T., 1955, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas No. 6 of Philadelphia County, March T., 1955, No. 6078, in case of Jacob Hollenbach v. North Wales Foundry Company, Inc. et al. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Samuel Polsky, with him Melvin Alan Bank, Lawrence I. Boonin, L. H. Wilderman, and Wilderman & Markowitz, for appellants.

Paul H. Ferguson, with him James F. Malone, for appellee.

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

Author: Wright

[ 184 Pa. Super. Page 572]

OPINION BY WRIGHT, J.

On February 2, 1953, Jacob Hollenbach filed a claim petition under The Pennsylvania Occupational Disease Act,*fn1 alleging total disability as the result of silicosis. His claim was disallowed by the Referee, the Board, and the court below. This appeal followed.

Hollenbach had been employed as a molder by the North Wales Foundry Company for twenty-four years. At the time of the Referee's hearing in June, 1953, he was 6m years of age. On October 10, 1952, he quit work, complaining that he felt tired, had shortness of breath, suffered a loss of appetite and was troubled by coughing. He consulted a physician and subsequently was admitted to the Philadelphia Osteopathic Hospital where an exploratory operation was performed. It was discovered that he was suffering from an inoperable

[ 184 Pa. Super. Page 573]

    carcinoma of the lower right lung, and that he also had silicosis. The basis of the decision by the compensation authorities was that the carcinoma was actually the responsible disability factor, and that Hollenbach failed to satisfactorily demonstrate a casual connection between his disability and the silicosis.

It is the contention of present counsel on this appeal that there was a compensable total disability to which the silicosis was "a contributing cause, in that: (a) An independently disabling carcinoma of the lung was not removed because the remaining silicotic lung would not have been able to support life, and (b) In the absence of silicosis, the carcinoma could have been removed".

In Irvin v. Plymouth Meeting Rubber Division Linear, 182 Pa. Superior Ct. 280, 126 A.2d 491, we said: "Since the decisions of the Board were against the parties having the burden of proof, the question before us is whether the Board's findings of fact are consistent with each other and with its conclusions of law and order, and can be sustained without a capricious disregard of the evidence". In an occupational disease case, findings of fact by the Workmen's Compensation Board are conclusive and cannot be disturbed on appeal if supported by competent and substantial evidence in the record: Rohner v. Fox Products, 164 Pa. Superior Ct. 610, 67 A.2d 605. It is within the province of the compensation authorities to evaluate the testimony: Susman v. Kaufmann's Department Store, 182 Pa. Superior Ct. 467, 128 A.2d 173. The credibility of witnesses and the weight of conflicting evidence on factual issues is for them, Rozauski v. Glen Alden Coal Co., 165 Pa. ...


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