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BLAIRSVILLE TRANSPORT COMPANY AND UNITED STATES FIDELITY & GUARANTY COMPANY v. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD AND SARAH MCWILLIAMS STEELE (12/06/74)

decided: December 6, 1974.

BLAIRSVILLE TRANSPORT COMPANY AND UNITED STATES FIDELITY & GUARANTY COMPANY, INSURANCE CARRIER, APPELLANTS,
v.
WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD AND SARAH MCWILLIAMS STEELE, MOTHER OF RICHARD STEELE, DECEASED, APPELLEES. SARAH MCWILLIAMS STEELE, APPELLANT, V. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD, BLAIRSVILLE TRANSPORT COMPANY AND UNITED STATES FIDELITY & GUARANTY COMPANY, INSURANCE CARRIER, APPELLEES



Appeals from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Sara McWilliams Steele v. Blairsville Transport and United States Fidelity and Guaranty Company, No. A-67075.

COUNSEL

Raymond F. Keisling, with him Will & Keisling, for Blairsville Transport Company and United States Fidelity & Guaranty Company.

William H. Nast, Jr., for Sarah McWilliams Steele.

James N. Diefenderfer, for Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board.

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

Author: Wilkinson

[ 15 Pa. Commw. Page 617]

For purposes of this appeal, it is not contested that the claimant-appellee's son, Richard Steele, was within the course of his employment with employer-appellant at the time he was killed in a truck collision. It is also admitted that at the time of his death, the average weekly wage of the decedent was $189.50 and the statewide average weekly wage for his job classification was $141.00.

Sarah McWilliams Steele, a retired widow, filed a claim petition which was disputed by employer-appellant for lack of any showing of dependency. The referee found that claimant-appellee was partially dependent on the decedent, and awarded compensation at

[ 15 Pa. Commw. Page 618]

    the rate of $60.00 per week pursuant to Section 307(5) of the Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act, Act of June 2, 1915, P.L. 736, as amended, 77 P.S. § 561(5) (Supp. 1974-1975). Employer-appellant appealed the referee's decision to the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board which denied the employer-appellant's petition for supersedeas and affirmed the referee's decision, modifying the award to $45.12 per week. This appeal followed with employer-appellant contesting the Board's affirmance of the referee's determination of partial dependency, and the denial of supersedeas by the Board. Finally, claimant-appellee appeals the reduction of the award by the Board.

The amount of the award to which claimant-appellee is entitled if dependency to any extent can be shown is determined by Section 307 of the Workmen's Compensation Act, 77 P.S. § 561, which provides, inter alia :

"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 injury, thirty-two per centum of wages but not in excess of sixty-six and two-thirds per centum of the Statewide average weekly wage. . . ." However, the third paragraph of subsection 7, 77 P.S. § 581, provides: "The wages upon which death compensation shall be based, shall not in any ...


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