Appeal, No. 355, Oct. T., 1958, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, Feb. T., 1958, No. 137, in case of Mrs. Beatrice R. Grentz, widow of Bruno A. Grentz, v. Danny's Restaurant et al. Judgment affirmed.
John F. Naulty, for appellant.
Frank R. Ambler, for appellee.
Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Gunther, Wright, Woodside, and Watkins, JJ. (ervin, J., absent).
[ 187 Pa. Super. Page 626]
Bruno A. Grentz, an experienced chef, had been employed by the defendant in his diner and restaurant for a number of years. There were other cooks under him. His normal working day ended between 3 and 4
[ 187 Pa. Super. Page 627]
p.m. On the morning of July 31, 1954 he left home for his work at about 7:30, apparently in his normal physical condition. The highest recorded temperature on that day was 101 degrees. In the kitchen area of the restaurant, where he worked there were several large ovens and the testimony, which must be accepted in the light of the findings of the board, was that it was 10 to 12 degrees hotter in the kitchen than outside the building. On the above date he performed his usual duties without complaint. About 2:30 on that afternoon Grentz was observed to be sitting outside the kitchen door with his head in his hands. Two hours later he was found sitting on a chair in the diner and his condition then was described as most serious. He was taken to Montgomery Hospital in an ambulance but on arrival was pronounced dead. For 6 years prior to his death (at age 68) Grentz had been under the care of Dr. Dale Garber for coronary sclerosis which had progressively worsened. Immediately prior to his death, according to the doctor's testimony, he carried "nitro-glycerine at all times which he took occasionally and he was also taking aminophyllin, 1 1/2 grains 3 times a day."
In this workmen's compensation case, brought by the dependent widow, the referee found: "3. That the claimant's decedent sustained an accidental injury on July 31, 1954, while in the employ of the defendant from which he died on the same day. 4. The nature and cause of said accidental injury and death were exposure to excessive heat coupled with a pre-existing coronary sclerosis, which together resulted in coronary occlusion and heat exhaustion while claimant's decedent was working in the kitchen of the defendant's diner." On these findings, compensation was awarded. On appeal, the board affirmed the referee's findings of fact, conclusions of law and the award. On further
[ 187 Pa. Super. Page 628]
appeal however Judge DANNEHOWER for the court en banc reversed the board and entered judgment for the defendant. In so disposing of the appeal the court concluded that the testimony, viewed in the light most favorable to the claimant, was insufficient as a matter of law to prove that heat exhaustion either caused or was a contributing cause of decedent's death.
Heat prostration may constitute a compensable accident if the circumstances indicate that injury or death resulted from it during the course of the employment. Lane v. Horn & Hardart B. Co., 261 Pa. 329, 104 A. 615; Trovato v. W. McCahan Ref. Co. et al., 122 Pa. Superior Ct. 499, 186 A. 163; Consentino v. Union Paving Co., 113 Pa. Superior Ct. 295, 173 A. 470. Such cases when compensable fall within the second class as laid down by the then Mr. Justice STERN in Parks v. Miller P. Mach. Co., 336 Pa. 455, 9 A.2d 742. Toland v. Murphy Brothers, 172 Pa. Superior Ct. 484, 94 A.2d 156; Heinold v. Pgh. Br. Mfg. Co. et al., 149 Pa. Superior Ct. 409, 27 A.2d 267 are ...