Appeal from decision of Superior Court, Oct. T., 1969, No. 618, reversing judgment of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, in case of Robert R. Morrison v. Allied Chemical Corp. and Travelers Insurance Company.
Carl M. Mazzocone, with him Charles F. Quinn, and Sheer, Mazzocone & Quinn, for appellant.
Joseph J. Murphy, with him John F. Dougherty, Jr., Robert J. Murphy, and Murphy, Veldorale, Dougherty and Katevatis, for appellees.
Bell, C. J., Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts and Pomeroy, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice O'Brien. Mr. Justice Jones and Mr. Justice Barbieri took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.
Appellant was employed as a junior chemist by Allied Chemical Corporation. In the course of his employment, he suffered industrial chemical poisoning and was totally disabled for a period and partially disabled for a period thereafter. He filed a claim under the Occupational Disease Act, and was awarded compensation by the referee. The Workmen's Compensation Board reversed the referee, and the board was in turn reversed by the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County. An appeal to the Superior Court resulted in a reversal of the Court of Common Pleas, by a divided court. We granted allocatur.
The case involves a question of statutory construction. Appellant's claim was brought under Section 108(d) of the Occupational Disease Act, 77 P.S. 1208(d). Section 108(d) provides among the definitions of occupational diseases: "(d) Poisoning by benzol, or by nitro, amido, or amino derivatives of benzol (dinitrobenzol,
anilin, and others), or their preparations or compounds, in any occupation involving direct contact with, handling thereof, or exposure thereto."
The board found as facts the following:
"1. Claimant, during the course of his employment as a 'junior chemist' with defendant from January, 1956 to October 26, 1963, was obliged to handle various industrial chemicals, such as benzol, cumene, acetone, phenol, methylstyrene and others, which chemicals were identified by labels on the bottles which he used, and claimant was exposed to such chemicals.
"2. As a result of his exposure to such chemicals, claimant suffered 'Industrial Chemical Poisoning (Benzol and Others)' from which he was totally disabled from October 27, 1963 to May 28, 1964, and undetermined partial disability thereafter to June 1, 1966."
Despite these findings, the board denied compensation and the Superior Court affirmed that denial on the basis of Section 301(c) of the Act, 77 P.S. 1401(c). Section 301(c) provides: "Compensation for the occupational diseases enumerated in this act shall be paid only when such occupational disease is peculiar to the occupation or ...