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HESSELMAN v. SOMERSET COMMUNITY HOSPITAL ET AL. (06/11/64)

June 11, 1964

HESSELMAN
v.
SOMERSET COMMUNITY HOSPITAL ET AL., APPELLANTS.



Appeal, No. 99, April T., 1964, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Somerset County, No. 931 C. D. Term, 1963, in case of Henry J. Hesselman v. Somerset Community Hospital et al. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Francis A. Dunn, with him Frank A. Orban, Jr., for appellants.

Archibald M. Matthews, for appellee.

Before Ervin, Wright, Woodside, Watkins, Montgomery, and Flood, JJ. (rhodes, P. J., absent).

Author: Wright

[ 203 Pa. Super. Page 315]

OPINION BY WRIGHT, J.

This is a workmen's compensation case. The Referee found that an accident had occurred in the course of claimant's employment, and made an award for total disability for a period of nine months and thereafter for partial disability at the rate of twenty-five percent. Both employer and claimant appealed to the Workmen's Compensation Board, which affirmed the action of the Referee in making an award, but found that claimant's disability continued to be total. Upon appeal by the employer to the Court of Common Pleas of Somerset County, the Board's determination that a compensable accident had occurred was sustained. However, the court below concluded claimant's disability did not continue to be total and directed that judgment be entered "in accordance with the award as made by the Referee". The employer and its insurance carrier have appealed to this court. The claimant did not appeal.

The record discloses that Henry J. Hesselman, the claimant, had been employed for a number of years by the Somerset Community Hospital as an orderly. He worked on a shift commencing at 3:00 p.m. On February 19, 1960, at 2:50 p.m., claimant slipped and fell as he was reaching for the knob of a door leading from an alley to the hospital laundry building. The injury which resulted was diagnosed as a "comminuted oblique fracture of the surgical neck of the left humerus". It is the contention of the appellants that, at the time of the accident, claimant was not in the course of his employment within the meaning of Section 301(c) of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act. Act of June 2, 1915, P.L. 736, Section 301(c), 77 P.S. 411.

The main hospital building is located on South Center Street in the Borough of Somerset and extends

[ 203 Pa. Super. Page 316]

    eastward between Patriot Street to the north and Church Street to the south. At the rear of the main building is an unnamed alley which runs north to south between Patriot and Church Streets. On the east side of this alley are other buildings used in conjunction with the hospital, particularly a laundry. The second floor of the laundry building extends west across and above the alley to connect with the second floor of the main building. The door which claimant was about to enter opens into the alley from the first floor of the laundry building. It was claimant's custom on his way to work to travel east on Patriot Street to the alley, turn right ro south down the alley and enter the laundry building by the door in question. Prior to the accident snow had fallen and the surface of the alley was in an icy condition.

The sole question which we are required to determine on this appeal is whether the record sustains the finding of the compensation authorities that claimant was in the course of his employment at the time of the accident. We answer this question in the affirmative. It is our view that, when claimant reached the alley, he was on his employer's premises for the purposes of workmen's compensation.

The pertinent provision of Section 301(c) of the statute reads as follows: "The term 'injury by an accident in the course of his employment' ... shall include all other injuries sustained while the employe is actually engaged in the furtherance of the business or affairs of the employer, whether upon the employer's premises or elsewhere, and shall include all injuries caused by the condition of the premises or by the operation of the employer's business or affairs thereon, sustained by the employer, who, though not so engaged, is injured upon the ...


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