Thomas F. McDevitt, Philadelphia, for appellants.
Swartz, Campbell & Detweiler, R. D. Harburg, Philadelphia, for appellees.
Jones, C. J., and Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Jones, C. J., and Eagen, J., concur in the result.
Claimant-appellant, Vincent L. Killian, filed a petition for compensation pursuant to the Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act of June 2, 1915, P.L. 736, art. III, §§ 306(a), 306(b), as amended, 77 P.S. §§ 511, 512 (Supp.1975-76) alleging total and subsequently partial disability as a result of accidental injury when his left hand was caught in a malfunctioning machine press. After a hearing, the referee entered an award of total disability benefits from April 24, 1968, through March 9, 1969, and partial disability benefits thereafter. On appeal to the Workmen's Compensation Board, the referee's award was affirmed. Subsequently, the Commonwealth Court affirmed the findings of fact, however, it concluded that an error of law had been committed and reversed
the decision of the Board. We granted allocatur and this appeal followed.*fn1
In September 1963 Killian was working as a machinist for his employer Heintz, when his left hand was caught in a press, causing substantial portions of each of the four fingers of the hand to be amputated.*fn2 Killian was fully compensated pursuant to Sections 306(c)(1) and (c)(24) of the Act, supra, as amended, 77 P.S. 513(1) and (24) for the specific loss of the use of a hand for all practical intents and purposes:
[306(c)] "Schedule of compensation for disability from permanent injuries of certain classes
For all disability resulting from permanent injuries of the following classes, the compensation shall be exclusively as follows:
(1) For the loss of a hand, sixty-six and two-thirds per centum of wages during one hundred seventy-five weeks.
(24) . . . Permanent loss of the use of a hand, . . ., shall be considered as the equivalent of the ...