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HOUSE MOVING AND INDUSTRIAL RIGGING v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (09/22/78)

decided: September 22, 1978.

HOUSE MOVING AND INDUSTRIAL RIGGING, INC., PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD AND DOLORES T. HENCHELL, WIDOW OF GERALD A. HENCHELL, DECEASED, RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Dolores T. Henchell, Widow of Gerald A. Henchell v. House Moving and Industrial Rigging, Inc., No. A-71464.

COUNSEL

C. S. Fossee, with him Murovich, Reale & Fossee, for petitioner.

Jan C. Swensen, with him Scott, Swensen & Scott, and James N. Diefenderfer, for respondents.

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

Author: Mencer

[ 38 Pa. Commw. Page 22]

House Moving and Industrial Rigging, Inc. (HMIR) appeals from an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board affirming a referee's award of death benefits to Dolores T. Henchell, the widow of Gerald A. Henchell. We affirm.

Gerald Henchell (Henchell) was employed by HMIR as a laborer. On November 25, 1972, while in the course of his employment, Henchell was in an accident which resulted in a back injury. On December 5, 1972, he was admitted to a hospital where surgery

[ 38 Pa. Commw. Page 23]

    on his back was performed. His treating physician regarded his recovery as good and approved his return to work on April 10, 1973. Henchell returned to his old job and worked a normal schedule until his death on June 25, 1973. However, according to the testimony of Mrs. Henchell, throughout the period from the surgery until his death Henchell suffered periodically from severe chest pains, numbness in his arms, nausea and vomiting, cyanosis, shortness of breath, and exhaustion. These symptoms were not reported to Henchell's physician, however. The immediate cause of his death on June 25 was determined to be an acute coronary thrombosis, i.e., a blood clot in a coronary artery.

Mrs. Henchell's fatal claim petition alleged that the back injury and surgery led to the thrombosis and Henchell's death. After several hearings, the referee agreed, making the following findings of fact:

Seventh: At the time of said accident and at

     the time of the back surgery, Gerald

Henchell had a heart condition

     which was unknown to him and was

     not revealed by tests conducted

     while he was hospitalized in Decem-

     ber 1972. Such tests consist of a

     chest x-ray and an ...


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