Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County, Sept. T., 1964, No. 51, in case of Clarence A. Angermier v. Hubley Manufacturing Co. et al.
David R. Eaby, with him Eaby and Eaby, for appellant.
Paul A. Mueller, Jr., and Barley, Snyder, Cooper & Mueller, for appellees.
Ervin, P. J., Wright, Watkins, Montgomery, Flood, Jacobs, and Hoffman, JJ. Opinion by Hoffman, J.
[ 206 Pa. Super. Page 424]
The question raised in this workmen's compensation case is whether a claim petition filed after expiration of the statutory period must be dismissed. The accident occurred on May 31, 1961, and the petition was filed on October 16, 1963, approximately two years and four months later.
Claimant is Clarence A. Angermier, an employe of defendant, Hubley Manufacturing Company. Defendant's insurance carrier is Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association Casualty Insurance Company.*fn1 Claimant notified his foreman of the accident and reported to the employer's dispensary. He was referred from there to Dr. H. K. Hogg. On June 5, 1961, he reported to Dr. Hogg, who examined and treated him until discharge on August 17, 1961. The condition recurred and claimant returned to Dr. Hogg on August 4, 1962, for further examination and treatment. Thereafter, he was hospitalized and underwent surgery on several occasions.*fn2
Claimant was unable to work from November 11, 1962, to January 2, 1963; April 29, 1963, to July 16, 1963; and October 10, 1963, to January 5, 1964.*fn3 Dr. Hogg testified that claimant lost 60% of the use of his
[ 206 Pa. Super. Page 425]
right arm, and that his difficulty was attributable to the accident of May 31, 1961.*fn4
The referee dismissed the claim petition on the ground that the statutory period for filing had expired. Claimant appealed to the Workmen's Compensation Board which reversed the decision of the referee and remanded the case solely for the purpose of obtaining evidence as to claimant's continuing disability. The Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County reversed the ruling of the Board and held that the petition must be dismissed. From this decision, the present appeal has been taken.
Section 315 of the Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act, as amended, 77 P.S. 602, provides: "In cases of personal injury all claims for compensation shall be forever barred, unless, within sixteen months after the accident, the parties shall have agreed upon the compensation payable under this article; or unless within sixteen months after the accident, one of the parties shall have filed a petition as provided in article four hereof."
The general rule is that filing of the petition in the specified time is an express condition of the right to obtain an award for compensation, and that failure to file it within the specified time is an absolute bar of the right. Thorn v. Strawbridge & Clothier, 191 Pa. Superior Ct. 59, 155 A.2d 414 (1959). However, several exceptions to ...