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PERMA-LITE PENNSYLVANIA v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (11/15/78)

decided: November 15, 1978.

PERMA-LITE OF PENNSYLVANIA, INC. AND AMERICAN STATES INSURANCE COMPANY, INSURANCE CARRIER, PETITIONERS
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD AND LAWRENCE L. SCHOTT, RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Lawrence L. Schott v. Perma-Lite of Pennsylvania, Inc., No. A-72240.

COUNSEL

David M. McCloskey, with him Will & Keisling, for petitioners.

Michael R. Ford, with him Gallagher & Ford, and James N. Diefenderfer, for respondents.

Judges Mencer, Rogers and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers.

Author: Rogers

[ 38 Pa. Commw. Page 482]

Perma-Lite of Pennsylvania, Inc. has appealed from an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board affirming a referee's award of benefits to Lawrence Schott.

Perma-Lite is in the business of contracting for the performance of home remodeling projects. Perma-Lite entered into a contract with the owners to do roof, porch and window repairs on a house in New Castle, Pennsylvania. Perma-Lite then subcontracted

[ 38 Pa. Commw. Page 483]

    the entire job to one Kenneth Radcliff who, without Perma-Lite's knowledge, employed the claimant, Lawrence Schott, who had worked for Radcliff before, as a so-called siding applicator. On the fourth day of work for Radcliff on the New Castle house, Schott fell from a ladder and was injured. Radcliff had no workmen's compensation insurance.

Schott filed a claim petition for benefits under The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act, Act of June 2, 1915, P.L. 736, as amended, 77 P.S. § 1 et seq., originally naming only Perma-Lite as his employer. He later amended his petition additionally to name Radcliff as his employer. Radcliff did not file an answer to the petition and took no part in the proceedings before the referee, the Board or this Court.

The referee concluded that Perma-Lite was Schott's statutory employer within the meaning of Section 203 of the Act, 77 P.S. § 52. Perma-Lite was ordered to pay total disability benefits to Schott and hospital, medical and legal costs. On appeal, the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board essentially affirmed the award, amending the referee's decision to add references to Sections 105 and 302(b) of the Act, 77 P.S. §§ 25 and 462 to the referee's conclusion that Perma-Lite was Schott's statutory employer under Section 203, 77 P.S. § 52. Perma-Lite has now appealed to this Court. We reverse.

In order for Perma-Lite, which was not Schott's actual employer, to be responsible, it must be determined to be his statutory employer under Section 203, 77 P.S. § 52, which reads:

An employer who permits the entry upon premises occupied by him or under his control of a laborer or an assistant hired by an employe or contractor, for the performance upon such premises of a part of the employer's ...


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