Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, March T., 1964, No. 1136, in case of Margaret Ann Hauptle, widow of George Aubin Hauptle, deceased, et al. v. Bausch & Lomb Optical Company et al.
John C. Dowling, with him Huette F. Dowling, and Dowling and Dowling, for appellants.
Richard B. Wickersham, with him Metzger, Wickersham & Knauss, for appellees.
Ervin, P. J., Wright, Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, and Hoffman, JJ. (Flood, J., absent). Opinion by Montgomery, J.
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This appeal is from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County affirming the decision of the Workmen's Compensation Board which denied appellant benefits for an accident allegedly sustained by her husband, who is now deceased.*fn1 The decision of the board and the order of the court below were based on findings that there had been no accident and that there
[ 206 Pa. Super. Page 294]
had been no notice of an accident given to the employer within 120 days of the date on which appellant claims the accident had occurred, as required by the Act of June 2, 1915, P. L. 736, as amended, Sections 311, 312, and 313, 77 P.S. §§ 631, 632, and 633.
It is appellant's contention that the board disregarded competent evidence in making its findings, and that they are not supported by the evidence. Although the referee found that appellant's husband had suffered an injury by accident on October 25, 1961, resulting in the permanent loss of the use of the left eye, and made no finding on the question of notice to the employer, the findings and conclusions made by the board are those which govern. The board is the final arbiter of the facts; the referee is but the agent of the board which may reject, change or adopt the findings of the referee. Dixon v. Shapiro, 203 Pa. Superior Ct. 535, 201 A.2d 231 (1964).
Where the decision of the board is against the party having the burden of proof, the question before the court is whether the board's findings of fact are consistent with each other and with its conclusions of law and its order, and can be sustained without a capricious disregard of the competent evidence. McCafferty v. Masten Transportation, Inc., 205 Pa. Superior Ct. 239, 209 A.2d 11 (1965); Mohler v. Cook, 205 Pa. Superior Ct. 232, 209 A.2d 7 (1965). The board may reject the testimony of any witness in whole or in part, the credibility to be given the witnesses and the weight to be accorded their testimony being for the board. Erwin v. L. & H. Construction Co., 192 Pa. Superior Ct. 632, 161 A.2d 639 (1960).
Viewing the record in the manner dictated by the foregoing rules, the facts appear as follows:
Claimant was 58 years of age and had been employed with defendant as a grinder of lenses for over 38 years until he entered the ...