Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas No. 9 of Philadelphia County, June T., 1965, No. 6305, in case of Carl J. DeVore v. Atlantic Manufacturing Company et al.
Earl Thomas Britt, with him Paul H. Ferguson and Frederick W. Anton, III, for appellant.
William J. MacDermott, with him David Cohen, for appellee.
Ervin, P. J., Wright, Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, Hoffman, and Spaulding, JJ. Opinion by Wright, J.
[ 208 Pa. Super. Page 225]
This is a workmen's compensation case. On May 19, 1962, in the course of his employment with the Atlantic Manufacturing Company, the claimant, Carl James DeVore, sustained an accidental injury. On June 1, 1962,
[ 208 Pa. Super. Page 226]
an open compensation agreement was executed in which the injury was described as follows: "While operating air grinder, grinding wheel broke, which resulted in the shattering of the left lens of the glasses employee was wearing and laceration of left eye". On October 3, 1962, claimant filed a petition for modification alleging total loss of vision in the left eye. The Referee found as a fact that claimant had suffered "the permanent loss of use of his left eye for all practical intents and purposes", and awarded compensation for 150 weeks, in addition to 10 weeks healing period, under the permanent injury schedule of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act.*fn1 The Board affirmed the Referee's award. The court of common pleas eventually dismissed an appeal by the employer. This appeal to the Superior Court followed.
Immediately after the accident, claimant was examined by Dr. George J. Dublin who found "a serious eye injury", including a prolapsed iris, a perforated wound of the cornea, and a traumatic cataract. Claimant was admitted to Wills Eye Hospital where Dr. Dublin performed an extensive operation. Claimant was hospitalized for twenty-one days. "He had a rather stormy time". A swelling of the cataract developed and glaucoma ensued. On June 20, 1962, claimant was hospitalized for ten more days, during which period a linear cataract extraction was performed. Dr. Dublin testified on the employer's behalf that, with the aid of a contact lens in the injured eye, claimant had binocular vision. This term simply means that claimant's eyes co-ordinated and he could use them both at once. On cross-examination Dr. Dublin admitted that without the aid of a contact lens claimant had "complete loss of vision in that eye".
Dr. Sidney Weiss testified on claimant's behalf that, without the aid of a contact lens, there was no useful
[ 208 Pa. Super. Page 227]
vision in the injured eye; further that, even with the use of a contact lens, claimant had only partial binocular vision, that his depth perception was reduced to one-third of normal, that his central field of vision was reduced between forty and fifty percent, that his peripheral field of vision was reduced approximately twenty percent, and that claimant was unable to read normal newspaper print. It was the conclusion of Dr. Weiss that, for all practical intents and purposes, claimant had lost the use of the eye.
Claimant testified that he was not aided by the ordinary type of corrective lens, and was therefore fitted with a contact lens. Without the use of this contact lens, he can see only shadows and is unable to distinguish objects. He admitted that use of the contact lens improves his vision, but stated that he still experiences difficulties, inter alia, with depth perception, headaches, and double vision. He testified that, if he turns his head quickly, the contact lens loses its position resulting in complete loss of vision until proper adjustment is made; further, that prolonged use of the ...