Gerald J. Haas, Philadelphia, for appellant.
Walter J. Timby, Jr., LaBrum & Doak, James M. Marsh, Philadelphia, for appellee, E. Roseman Co.
Jones, C. J., and Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Jones, C. J., dissents.
The issue presented in this appeal is whether an appeal from an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board to the Commonwealth Court is perfected as of the date when it is mailed or as of the date when it is received and filed in that court.
On February 15, 1973, an order against appellant was entered and mailed by the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board. On March 6, 1973, the appellant, an employee-claimant, mailed his appeal to the Commonwealth Court. The appeal was received and filed in the Commonwealth Court on March 8, 1973. The Commonwealth Court sua sponte dismissed the appeal as untimely holding that March 7, 1973, was the final day on which the appellant could appeal. General v. E. Roseman Co., et al., 10 Pa. Commw. 569, 312 A.2d 609 (1973). Petition for allowance of appeal was granted, and this appeal followed.
The Commonwealth Court held that the appellant's appeal was not perfected because it was not received and filed in that court until March 8, 1973. We do not agree. When a statute or a rule requires that an appeal be filed within a certain period of time, we have held that an untimely filing will not perfect the appeal. Luckenbauch v. Luckenbauch, 443 Pa. 417, 281 A.2d 169 (1971). See also Walsh v. Tucker, 454 Pa. 175, 312 A.2d 11 (1973).
In this appeal, however, we must interpret statutory language which does not use the word "file." Section
of the Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act sets forth the statutory period within which an appeal to the Commonwealth Court must be perfected. The section provides:
"Such appeal must in all cases be brought within twenty days after notice of the action of the board has been served upon such party, unless the Commonwealth Court, shall, upon cause shown, extend the time herein provided for taking the appeal." (Emphasis added.) Act of June 2, 1915, P.L. 736, as amended, 77 P.S. § 873.
Section 427 says nothing about filing an appeal. Rather, it speaks of an appeal being brought and the time for taking an appeal. In Fritsch v. Pennsylvania Golf Club, 355 Pa. 384, 50 A.2d 207 (1947), we noted "the Workmen's Compensation Act must be considered as an entirety; each section thereof must be read and construed in conjunction with the others, not as a separate law unto itself. The Act is remedial, and should receive a liberal construction." See Patter v. Superior Steel Co., 263 Pa. 244, 106 A.2d 202 (1919); Crucible Steel Co. of America v. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board, 9 Pa. Commw. 269, 306 A.2d 395 (1973). ...