Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County, Oct. T., 1968, No. 281, in case of Stanley R. Bealer v. Frank H. Simons et al.
William H. Agnew, for appellant.
Carl F. Skinner, with him James F. Prendergast, for appellee.
Wright, P. J., Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, Hoffman, Spaulding, and Cercone, JJ. Opinion by Cercone, J. Wright, P. J., would affirm on the opinion of President Judge Palmer. Concurring Opinion by Hoffman, J.
[ 216 Pa. Super. Page 264]
On February 28, 1959, claimant Stanley R. Bealer had an accident during the course of his employment which resulted in a serious injury to his left eye. That injury necessitated the removal of the left eye on March 8, 1962 and the substitution of an artificial eye.
On March 28, 1966 claimant was required to have the artificial eye replaced at a cost of $125 and one of the questions before us in this appeal is whether or not he is entitled to recover this amount under the Workmen's Compensation Act in effect at the time of injury. The Referee held he was so entitled, but the
[ 216 Pa. Super. Page 265]
Workmen's Compensation Board reversed. The lower court affirmed the reversal and claimant has appealed.
Section 306(f) of the Workmen's Compensation Act (Act of May 14, 1949, P. L. 1369, 77 P.S. 531), in effect at the time of claimant's injury, provided:
"Whenever an employe shall have suffered the loss of . . . an eye, the employer shall furnish to the employe, in addition to the aforementioned surgical and medical services, medicines and supplies, an artificial . . . eye of a type and kind recommended by the doctor attending such employe in connection with such injury."
The Board and the lower court would interpret this section as limiting an employee to only one artificial eye. However, the required liberal interpretation of the Act*fn1 impels us to hold that this section imposed a continuing duty on the part of the employer to supply an artificial eye of a type and kind recommended by the doctor, and that as long as "an artificial . . . eye of a type and kind recommended by the doctor . . ." is needed, that eye must be supplied.
This interpretation is further buttressed by the provisions of section 413 of the Workmen's Compensation Act, which section has already been considered as an adjunct to section 306(f) by this court in Primoli v. Philadelphia Bronze and ...