Appeal, No. 137, April T., 1959, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County, July T., 1958, No. 569, in case of John Anetakis v. The Salvation Army. Judgment reversed.
C. Dale Blair, with him Fink & Jennings, for appellant.
Edward B. Doran, for appellee.
Before Hirt, Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Watkins, JJ. (rhodes, P.j., absent).
[ 191 Pa. Super. Page 269]
In this workmen's compensation case, the claimant John Anetakis, was employed as a counselor at a summer camp for underprivileged boys, operated by the Salvation Army. On August 27, 1954, at or about 10:30 p.m., the claimant and several other counselors, after having put their charges to bed decided to leave the camp and go to a snack bar for something to eat. According to the record this snack bar was "off limits" for counselors by order of the camp director and he so testified, but the claimant testified that he had asked and secured permission from an assistant director to make the trip. After being at the snack bar for about one hour the group started back to the camp and when
[ 191 Pa. Super. Page 270]
at a point about 1/8 of a mile from the camp the claimant sustained a severe fall over the edge of a road down a cliff whereby he suffered serious injuries.
The issue in this case revolves around the referee's seventh finding of fact which reads as follows: "Seventh: That after careful consideration of all the facts in this case, your Referee is of the opinion, and so finds as a fact, that the claimant sustained all of these injuries by accident while he was engaged in his duties as a camp counselor for the Salvation Army at Camp Allegheny, Ellwood City, Pa." Based on this finding the referee found that claimant was entitled to benefits.
On appeal to the board the referee's seventh finding of fact and the conclusions of law based thereon were vacated and the board substituted the following: "Seventh: At the time of the occurrence of the accident herein, claimant was not actually furthering the business of defendant employer, but was merely serving his own convenience in obtaining refreshments at a snack bar located approximately 1/4 mile from the employer's premises." And also substituted the following conclusion of law. "Second: The accident having occurred off the employer's premises and at a time when the claimant was engaged in serving his own convenience and not that of the employer, he is not entitled to recovery."
On appeal to the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County the court below reversed the board and, by its finding that the claimant was entitled to benefits, in effect reinstated the finding of the referee, and entered judgment in favor of the claimant and against the defendant. This appeal followed.
We have repeatedly held that the findings of the Workmen's Compensation Board on appeal are binding on the reviewing court, if supported by competent evidence. When ...