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ERWIN v. L. & H. CONSTRUCTION CO. (06/15/60)

June 15, 1960

ERWIN, APPELLANT,
v.
L. & H. CONSTRUCTION CO.



Appeal, No. 60, Oct. T., 1960, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Schuylkill County, March T., 1959, No. 350, in case of Wallace Erwin v. L. & H. Construction Co. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Robert J. Gillespie, for appellant.

William D. Hutchinson, with him Houck, Bohorad and Lipkin, for appellee.

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

Author: Watkins

[ 192 Pa. Super. Page 633]

OPINION BY WATKINS, J.

This is an appeal from the judgment of the Court of Common Pleas of Schuylkill County affirming the decision of the Workmen's Compensation Board in terminating compensation benefits.

[ 192 Pa. Super. Page 634]

The claimant, Wallace Erwin, on May 10, 1955, met with an accident while working in a hole, when a piece of steel fell from the surface and struck him on the top of the head causing lacerations of the scalp. The claimant was paid compensation under agreement for total disability. On December 19, 1955, the appellee company filed a petition to terminate the agreement, averring that the claimant's disability, resulting from the accident, terminated as of July 28, 1955, and that he had been paid up to August 15, 1955, in the total sum of $417.

The referee, after several hearings, dismissed the petition. On appeal to the board by the appellee company, the record was remanded for the appointment of an impartial physician, an ophthalmologist. Further hearings were held by the referee and again the petition for termination was dismissed. Upon appeal to the Workmen's Compensation Board, the decision of the referee was reversed and the board found as a fact that all disability of the claimant from the accident ceased on August 16, 1955, and concluded that the defendant was entitled to terminate all compensation benefits as of that date. The Court of Common Pleas of Schuylkill County, on appeal by the claimant, affirmed the Workmen's Compensation Board and entered judgment for the defendant.

The board is the final arbiter of facts, the referee is only an agent of the board and the board may reject, change or adopt the findings of the referee. Rodgers v. Methodist Episcopal Hosp., 188 Pa. Superior Ct. 16, 145 A.2d 893 (1958). The only question before this Court is whether there was sufficient competent evidence to support the findings of the board. The board may accept or reject, in whole or in part, the testimony of any witnesses as it is its province to pass upon the testimony and determine the credibility

[ 192 Pa. Super. Page 635]

    to be accorded the witnesses and the weight to be given their testimony. Kubler v. Yeager, 189 Pa. Superior Ct. 339, 150 A.2d 383 (1959). In Dindino v. Weekly Review Pub. Co., Inc., 188 Pa. Superior Ct. 606, 610, 149 A.2d 475 (1959), we said: "Questions of fact are for the compensation authorities ...


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