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SIERZEGA v. UNITED STATES STEEL CORPORATION (12/16/64)

decided: December 16, 1964.

SIERZEGA
v.
UNITED STATES STEEL CORPORATION, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Greene County, March T., 1963, No. 210, in case of Karol Sierzega v. United States Steel Corporation et al.

COUNSEL

Robert M. Keener, with him Albert A. Sayers, and Sayers, King & Keener, for appellant.

Ben F. Wright, with him David E. Cohen, Ewing B. Pollock, and Pollock, Pollock & Thomas, for appellee.

Ervin, Wright, Woodside, Watkins, Montgomery, and Flood, JJ. (Rhodes, P. J., absent). Opinion by Watkins, J.

Author: Watkins

[ 204 Pa. Super. Page 532]

This is an appeal from the judgment of the Court of Common Pleas of Greene County entered on the

[ 204 Pa. Super. Page 533]

    decision of the Workmen's Compensation Board in an Occupational Disease case in favor of Karol Sierzega, the claimant-appellee and against the United States Steel Corporation, the defendant-appellant.

The claimant was employed by the United States Steel Corporation at three different coal mines from June, 1918 until July 14, 1956, a total of 38 years. The employer has not raised the question of exposure. From 1956 to July 1, 1960 the claimant was unemployed, but was active around his home working in his yard and garden. On July 1, while mowing the lawn he suddenly had difficulty getting his breath, almost fell down and had to sit down and could do nothing further. He never again was able to do any physical labor and had to sleep in a sitting position. In June, 1961, he was admitted to the Uniontown hospital but was then transferred to the Cresson State Hospital where he remained until March 18, 1962. According to the record he had no reason to know he had silicosis until so informed in the Cresson hospital on September 1, 1961. He gave notice of this disability to his employer on September 7, 1961 and filed a claim petition on September 15, 1961.

The referee awarded compensation for total and permanent disability from silicosis. The Workmen's Compensation Board affirmed, and on appeal, the Court of Common Pleas of Greene County affirmed the decision of the board and entered judgment on the award in favor of the claimant.

This appeal primarily raises the question whether there is sufficient evidence to support the findings and conclusions of the board and in particular, the finding that the claimant became totally disabled as a result of silicosis on July 1, 1960. The evidence, of course, must be reviewed in the light most favorable to him and he must be given the benefit of all inferences reasonably deducible therefrom, and when the

[ 204 Pa. Super. Page 534]

    findings are supported by legally credible evidence they are binding on the court. Leftwrich v. Colonial Alum. Sm. Corp., 184 Pa. ...


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