Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Washington County, in case of Helen Fesh, Widow of Stephen Fesh, Deceased v. American Steel & Wire Division, United States Steel Corporation, Nos. 540, 541 May Term, 1970.
Kathleen A. Merry, with her William L. Standish, and Reed, Smith, Shaw & McClay, for appellant.
Paul N. Barna, with him Barna and Barna, for appellee.
Judges Kramer, Manderino and Mencer, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.
This is an appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Washington County, Pennsylvania, remanding the consolidated workmen's compensation claims of Helen Fesh (claimant) and her husband, Stephen Fesh (decedent) to the Workmen's Compensation Board (Board) for further testimony concerning whether or not an accident at work on October 17, 1962 aggravated or accelerated a disease which caused decedent's death on May 22, 1965.
Both claims arise out of an accident on October 17, 1962 sustained by decedent while employed by the American Steel and Wire Division of the United States Steel Corporation (Company). Decedent's claim is a petition to set aside a final receipt; that of the claimant, his wife, is a claim for death benefits.
On October 17, 1962, decedent, Stephen Fesh, was employed by the Company as an end trimmer and bundler in the rod mill. On that date a hose filled with vacuum oil burst and in an attempt to back quickly away Mr. Fesh tripped and fell, landing on his back in a pile of dirt.
He returned to work until he complained of pain in his right ankle, at which time he was sent to the plant infirmary to see Dr. MacLane. He continued to see Dr. MacLane during a two-week period when he was laid off. After his return to work he was assigned to a less strenuous job. It was discovered that he had sustained a fracture to his right ankle and a walking cast was applied.
He continued to work at light jobs when there was scheduled work; when there was no work scheduled, he received unemployment compensation. After four
weeks the cast was removed. Mr. Fesh complained of weakness in his legs, so the Company arranged for him to see Dr. Stuart Rowe, a neurosurgeon, in December, 1962. Dr. Rowe referred Mr. Fesh to Dr. Joseph Novak at St. Francis Hospital for extensive testing. At the conclusion of these tests, both doctors agreed that Stephen Fesh was suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
On January 31, 1963, Mr. Fesh entered into an agreement with the Company for compensation for disability caused by the accident and executed a final receipt acknowledging that he was no longer disabled as the result of the accident.
After January 31, 1963, his condition worsened and Mr. Fesh lost the use of his legs and then his arms, finally becoming totally disabled.
On August 19, 1963, claimant filed a modification petition and a petition to set aside the final receipt, alleging that all disability due to the accident ...