Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of David Padilla v. Chain Bike Corporation, No. A-70277.
Harry J. Newman, for appellant.
John P. Thomas, with him Wilbur C. Creveling, Jr., and Walker, Thomas, Karess, Lipson & Zieger, for appellees.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Mencer and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.
[ 27 Pa. Commw. Page 191]
In this case, David Padilla (claimant) appeals from an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) which dismissed his appeal and thus denied him benefits under The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act*fn1 (Act).
The questions presented to this Court are three: whether the employer, Chain Bike Corporation (Bike), was given notice of claimant's injury as required by Sections 311, 312, and 313 of the Act, 77 P.S. §§ 631-33; whether the claim for compensation is barred by the statute of limitations contained in Section 315 of the Act, 77 P.S. § 602; and whether claimant proved that his disability was caused by a work-related injury.*fn2 Because we will answer the first question in the negative, we need not reach or consider the others.
The applicable law requires that unless the employer, or any agent of the employer regularly employed at the place of employment of the injured employee,
[ 27 Pa. Commw. Page 192]
has knowledge that a certain employee received an injury in the course of his employment on or about a specified time, at or near a place specified, within one hundred and twenty days after the occurrence, no compensation shall be allowed.*fn3 The purpose of requiring such notice is, of course, to protect the employer from claims for accidental injuries of which he would have no knowledge, made after opportunity had passed for a full and complete examination thereof. Canterna v. United States Steel Corp., supra note 3; accord, Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board v. Paris Neckwear Co., 22 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 543, 350 A.2d 212 (1976). The time limit is mandatory and cannot be extended. Paris Neckwear, supra; Canterna, supra note 3.
Claimant filed a petition for compensation for disability on February 21, 1973, averring that he had sustained a back injury in "late October, 1971." Claimant's position before this Court is that within one hundred and twenty days of the injury Bike had knowledge of the occurrence sufficient to satisfy the Act. In particular, claimant asserts that Bike obtained knowledge, in either one of two ways. First, a foreman who was charged, inter alia, with filing accident reports for Spanish-speaking individuals (such as claimant) was advised a week or so after the injury that claimant had fallen and had been hurt. Second,
[ 27 Pa. Commw. Page 193]
an officer of Bike is alleged to have learned of the accident either through the foreman or through conversations with claimant's physician, claimant's brother, and ...