Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of John Golmitz v. J & L Steel Corporation and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, No. A-70889.
Raymond F. Keisling, with him Will & Keisling, for appellant.
Benjamin L. Costello, with him Kenneth J. Yablonski, and James N. Diefenderfer, for appellees.
Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer and Mencer, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.
Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation (J & L) appeals an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) which affirmed an award of compensation for occupational disease to John Golmitz (Claimant) based on Sections 108(k) and 108(n) of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act, Act of June 2, 1915, P.L. 736, as amended, 77 P.S. §§ 27.1(k), 27.1(n).*fn1
The sole issue raised by J & L on appeal to this Court is that the Board erred in affirming a referee's decision which it avers was unsupported by competent evidence. For reasons hereinafter stated, we affirm.
As we have all too often said, where the party having the burden of proof prevails in the administrative process (here Claimant), our scope of review is to determine whether constitutional rights were violated, an error of law committed, or to make certain that the necessary findings of fact are supported by
substantial evidence. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board v. Young, 18 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 515, 336 A.2d 665 (1975).
J & L presses the argument that there is no testimony supportive of the necessary element of proving a silica hazard, and as authority, cites us to John F. Moyer v. Brockway Clay Company, 14 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 610, 612-13, 324 A.2d 876, 877 (1974):
Proof of the claimant's disability as well as of a silica hazard in his employment is an essential element of a claim seeking total disability benefits under the Occupational Disease Act as a result of exposure to a silica hazard. It is provided in Section 301(f) of the Occupational Disease Act, 77 P.S. § 1401(f): 'If it be shown that the employe, at or immediately before the date of disability was employed in any occupation or industry in which the occupational disease is a hazard, it shall be presumed that the employe's occupational disease arose out of and in the course of his employment but this presumption shall not be conclusive.' In considering this section, the Superior Court in Metz vs. Quakertown Stove Works, 156 Pa. Super. 70, 75, 39 A.2d 534, 536 (1944) commented: 'It will be noted that the employee is not called upon, in order to get the benefit of this rebuttable presumption to show that the particular factory or plant in which he worked was a silica hazard, but only that the "occupation or industry" was one in which silicosis was a hazard, leaving ...