Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Mrs. Sidonia Sax, Widow of Rabbi Jacob Sax, Deceased, v. Western Packers, Inc., No. A-68357.
John David Rhodes, with him Thomson, Rhodes & Grigsby, for appellants.
Dennis S. Shilobod, with him Messer & Shilobod, for appellee, Sax.
James N. Diefenderfer, for appellee, Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board.
Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer and Mencer, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.
[ 22 Pa. Commw. Page 600]
Rabbi Jacob Sax, a professional religious slaughterer, was injured at his place of employment, Western Packers, Inc. (Appellant) on February 14, 1972, when kicked by a steer causing the fracture of the right fourth, fifth and sixth ribs. The parties entered into a compensation agreement whereby Rabbi Sax received $60.00 per week, there being no further claim for lifetime compensation.
Following the accident of February 14, Rabbi Sax underwent medical and hospital care at two different hospitals until he died three months later. The Rabbi's widow, Sidonia Sax (Claimant), then filed her fatal claim petition. Following the hearing, the referee entered twenty findings of fact in support of his fatal claim award. After Appellants' appeal to the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board), the matter was remanded to the referee for further findings of fact relative to the accident and the cause of the subsequent death. This remand was necessitated in that the underlying theory of recovery, upon which the referee granted compensation, was that the kick reactivated a quiescent gastric ulcer which resulted in its bleeding and in debilitating the Rabbi's condition, although the immediate cause of death was found to be carcinomatosis resulting from bronchiogenic carcinoma. This dibilitation also followed bone surgery which confirmed the existence of a sixth rib lesion. The following are the additional findings of fact entered in compliance with the remand:
TWENTY-FIRST: The fractured ribs did not cause the decedent's cancer.
TWENTY-SECOND: The decedent had an incipient and/or latent cancer prior to the work related injury.
[ 22 Pa. Commw. Page 601]
TWENTY-THIRD: The decedent had a gastric ulcer prior to the work related injury.
TWENTY-FOURTH: The gastric ulcer was benign and quiescent prior to the work related injury.
TWENTY-FIFTH: The injury, the stress resulting therefrom, the hospitalization, the treatment, and the medication resulted in the re-occurrence of bleeding from the ulcer.
TWENTY-SIXTH: The gastric ulcer was aggravated and activated by the trauma of the injury and its results.
TWENTY-SEVENTH: The said bleeding was massive and required replacement of blood at the hospital, which was furnished.
TWENTY-EIGHTH: The decedent's hematocrit upon admission to the McKeesport Hospital on February 17, 1972 was 44; at discharge on March 15, 1972, the hematocrit was 35, and "this was after many units of blood had been given."
TWENTY-NINTH: The Discharge Summary of McKeesport Hospital shows that at his admission of April 28, 1972, the hematocrit was 32 and was also 32 at the last performed hematocrit before death.
THIRTIETH: The primary cause of death on the death certificate was carcinomatosis due to bronchiogenic carcinoma.
THIRTY-FIRST: The final diagnosis on the Discharge Summary, McKeesport Hospital, at the time of death, May 13, ...