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GLEN IRVAN CORPORATION AND OLD REPUBLIC INSURANCE COMPANY v. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD AND DONALD L. BOWMAN AND RUTH BOWMAN (08/02/74)

decided: August 2, 1974.

GLEN IRVAN CORPORATION AND OLD REPUBLIC INSURANCE COMPANY, INSURANCE CARRIER, APPELLANTS,
v.
WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD AND DONALD L. BOWMAN AND RUTH BOWMAN, PARENTS OF JAMES R. BOWMAN, DECEASED, APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Donald L. Bowman and Ruth Bowman, Parents, James R. Bowman, Deceased, v. Glen Irvan Corporation, No. A-66839.

COUNSEL

Joseph J. Lee, for appellants.

Eugene L. Cimino, with him James N. Diefenderfer, for appellees.

Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer and Rogers, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.

Author: Mencer

[ 14 Pa. Commw. Page 593]

The tragedy that lurks in the coal mines struck Donald L. Bowman and his wife Ruth when, on January 9, 1971, their 18-year-old son James was killed in a mining accident while in the employ of the Glen Irvan Corporation (hereinafter referred to as the employer).

On October 11, 1971, Ruth Bowman filed a fatal claim petition for workmen's compensation benefits pursuant to Section 307(5) of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act.*fn1 This section provided:

[ 14 Pa. Commw. Page 594]

"In case of death, compensation shall be computed on the following basis, and distributed to the following persons:

"5. If there be neither widow, widower, nor children entitled to compensation, then to the father or mother, if dependent to any extent upon the employe at the time of the accident, thirty-two per centum of wages but not in excess of twenty-five dollars per week: Provided, however, That in the case of a minor child who has been contributing to his parents, the dependency of said parents shall be presumed : And provided further, That if the father or mother was totally dependent upon the deceased employe at the time of the accident, the compensation payable to such father or mother shall be fifty-two per centum of wages, but not in excess of thirty-eight dollars per week." (Emphasis added.)

Compensation was first awarded under the above provision by order of a referee thereafter affirmed by the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board). The employer now appeals this award to us.

In a workmen's compensation case in which the claimant has prevailed below, our review is limited to a determination of whether constitutional rights were violated, an error of law was committed, or any necessary finding of fact was not supported by substantial evidence. Regent Bottling Company v. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board, 10 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 8, 309 A.2d 265 (1973). Our careful review of the record now before us convinces us that we must affirm.

It is clear from the language of the proviso in Section 307(5) that the dependency of parents on a minor child who was contributing to his parents before his death is presumed. The employer does not contest the referee's findings of minority and contribution in this case. Hence, the only question ...


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