Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Joseph M. Dyda v. Duquesne Brewing Company and Pennsylvania Manufacturers' Association Insurance Company, Insurance Carrier, No. A-65712.
Roy F. Walters, Jr., with him Brandt, McManus, Brandt & Malone, for appellant.
Alexander J. Pentecost, for appellee.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Kramer.
This is an appeal by the Duquesne Brewing Company (Duquesne) from an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) dated October 26, 1972, affirming the referee's granting of a workmen's compensation award to Joseph M. Dyda (Dyda).
Dyda worked for Duquesne approximately 27 years. On April 16, 1969, while working in the capacity of a kettleman, he was in a large bin cleaning corn which had gathered around the edges of the bin. The bin itself is 65 feet high and approximately 25 by 30 feet in area. Shortly after entering the bin, he experienced a great deal of difficulty breathing. Thereafter, he went out of the bin and procured a spotlight. With the aid of the spotlight, he noticed a mist in the bin. Dyda had been in the bin approximately 15 minutes. In his own words, he stated that he started "choking up and coughing and like you get a watery nose and you cough up
like you have to regurgitate. . . ." He went to the company dispensary and reported the incident to the nurse and informed his supervisor. After getting some fresh air, he attempted to return to work. Shortly thereafter, he began vomiting and was taken to South Side Hospital.
At the hospital, Dyda was told by an intern on duty to get plenty of fresh air, drink plenty of liquids and not to return to work. Nonetheless, he returned to work and continued to work until December 1, 1969, at which time he became totally disabled. Thereafter, he returned to work on February 1, 1970, and continued working until May 14, 1970, at which time total disability returned. Dyda indicated that since the date of the incident, April 16, 1969, he had continually experienced coughing spells, shortness of breath, dizziness, wheezing and congestion. His condition was diagnosed as asthmatic bronchitis and was concluded to be a manifestation of an organic problem due to the exposure to various fumigants and corn husking fumes.
Several intermittent days of hearings were held before Referee Jerome M. Meyers. At the hearings, Dyda testified in his own behalf and although he was examined by several doctors, the only medical evidence received was the deposition of Dr. Murray Sachs. Based on the history given to him and his examination of Dyda, Dr. Sachs concluded that Dyda's condition was a result of a limited exposure to vapors from a fumigant used to clean a conveyer adjacent to the bin in which Dyda was working, and dangerous nitrogen oxide fumes from the corn huskings present in the bin.
Duquesne offered no expert medical testimony or evidence. Duquesne's sole witness was David J. Radzanowski, Duquesne's Director of Sanitation and Quality Control. Mr. Radzanowski's responsibilities include the direct supervision of all fumigating ...