Appeal, No. 94, Oct. T., 1963, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas No. 5 of Philadelphia County, June T., 1962, No. 4599, in case of Marion A. Davis and Emma Davis, parents of Lonnie J. Davis, deceased, v. Welsbach Corporation et al. Judgment reversed.
David L. Pennington, with him Joseph R. Thompson, for appellants.
Howard M. Girsh, with him Manuel Steinberg, for appellees.
Before Rhodes, P.j., Ervin, Wright, Woodside, Watkins, Montgomery, and Flood, JJ.
[ 201 Pa. Super. Page 522]
Lonnie J. Davis, thirty years of age and single, started to work for the Welsbach Corporation as a "stakeout" man in the defendant's foundry on August 28, 1959. He was apparently in good health when he came to work that morning and he continued to be perfectly normal until the afternoon of that day. When he was hired he was sent to a doctor and after the doctor certified as to his good health, he was put to work. Decedent's brother testified that on August 27, the day before he started work, his brother was in good health. During the afternoon he became ill. One of his co-workers testified that at noon he appeared all right and about 3:30 he looked like he was sick, "like maybe the heat had him"; that about an hour later he started picking up things and throwing them at people. Another co-worker testified that around three o'clock "He seemed afraid of everybody. He jumped from side to side if somebody walked close to him.... But he seemed completely off balance.... He just seemed to be gone out of his head." He was brought to the accident dispensary around 4:40 p.m. "Upon arrival, he was convulsing. Blood pressure unobtainable. Pulse 180. Respirations 38. Skin very hot and dry. Rectal temperature 109."
Decedent was performing his labor in the foundry, where the temperature varied between 85 and 90degree.
Dr. Leonard Girsh, a specialist in internal medicine, whose testimony was based upon an examination of the hospital records, testified that in his opinion Davis had a heat stroke and secondary features, that the heat stroke was the primary cause of his death, which occurred on September 1, 1959. The doctor based his opinion on the four following things: 1. Temperature
[ 201 Pa. Super. Page 523]
of 109degree rectally; 2. Central nervous system symptoms of confusion and delirium, convulsions; 3. Skin very hot and dry; 4. This condition developed on a very hot day with excessive exposure to heat.
The only testimony presented was by the claimants. The claimants were Marion A. Davis and Emma Davis, parents of Lonnie J. Davis. They lived in Detroit, Michigan, and their son lived in the Philadelphia district. The son had not visited them for two years prior to his death. Prior to taking the job with the Welsbach Corporation, Lonnie J. Davis had operated a shoe shine stand and had part time work on the river front. The father, Marion A. Davis, was regularly employed by the Ford Motor Company and had been so employed for the past 15 years. He earned 2.55 1/2 per hour and grossed $4,050.00 for the year 1959. He testified that the decedent had sent him $40.00 during the year 1959. Emma Davis, the mother, testified that her husband supported and maintained her but that she suffered from diabetes and required additional amounts for drugs and medical attention and that the decedent regularly sent her from ten to twenty dollars per month, which she used for this purpose.
The referee awarded compensation to the parents and found that they were partially dependent upon their son. The board reversed the referee and found that the death of the deceased was due to natural causes unrelated to his employment with the defendant and that the claimants were not dependent upon him for their support. The court below remanded the case to the board for the taking of further testimony on the issue of partial dependency of Emma ...