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ALUMINUM COMPANY AMERICA v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (12/15/77)

decided: December 15, 1977.

ALUMINUM COMPANY OF AMERICA, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD AND EVELYN J. LINDSAY, WIDOW OF JAMES W. LINDSAY, RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Evelyn J. Lindsay, widow of James W. Lindsay, v. Aluminum Company of America, No. A-71269.

COUNSEL

Dale C. Perdue, with him Ronald H. Katila, for petitioner.

Alexander J. Pentecost, with him James N. Diefenderfer, for respondents.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr. and Rogers, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.

Author: Crumlish

[ 33 Pa. Commw. Page 34]

The Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa) has appealed from the affirmance by the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) of a referee's award of benefits to the widow of one of its employees, James W. Lindsay (Decedent). At issue are the referee's conclusion (improperly denominated a finding of fact) that at the time of his death Decedent was in the course of his employment as defined by Section 301(c) of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act*fn1 and the referee's rejection in toto of the testimony of a witness produced by Alcoa. We affirm.

Decedent had been employed by Alcoa as a coordinator of exhibits, whose duties required him to

[ 33 Pa. Commw. Page 35]

    travel extensively throughout the country to supervise the assembly and setting up of exhibits at various trade shows. On the evening of Friday, October 20, 1972, Decedent traveled from Pittsburgh to Miami, Florida. He was responsible for a display at the Port Authority Show at the Four Ambassadors Motel in Miami which was to open on Sunday, October 22 at 10 o'clock A.M. It is undisputed that, shortly after his arrival in Miami, Decedent checked into the Silver Sands Motel; that he had dinner with a business friend and the friend's fiance at a nearby restaurant; that he left the restaurant to drive back alone to the Silver Sands at about 11 o'clock P.M.; and that he was murdered sometime between 11 o'clock P.M. on October 20 and Wednesday, October 23, when his body was discovered buried in the sand on the beach near his hotel room.

Section 301(c) of the Act, 77 P.S. § 411, states in pertinent part:

(1) The terms 'injury' and 'personal injury,' as used in this act, shall be construed to mean an injury to an employe, regardless of his previous physical condition, arising in the course of his employment and related thereto, . . . and wherever death is mentioned as a cause for compensation under this act, it shall mean only death resulting from such injury and its resultant effects, and occurring within three hundred weeks after the injury. The term 'injury arising in the course of his employment,' as used in this article, shall not include an injury caused by an act of a third person intended to injure the employe because of reasons personal to him, and not directed against him as an employe or because of his employment; but shall include all other injuries sustained while the employe is actually engaged in the furtherance

[ 33 Pa. Commw. Page 36]

    of the business or affairs of the employer, whether upon the employer's ...


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