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JONES & LAUGHLIN STEEL CORPORATION v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (03/13/79)

decided: March 13, 1979.

JONES & LAUGHLIN STEEL CORPORATION, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD, CLARENCE J. SPEELMAN AND COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Clarence J. Speelman v. J & L Steel Corporation and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, No. A-72432.

COUNSEL

Raymond F. Keisling, with him Will & Keisling, for petitioner.

Benjamin L. Costello and Sandra Christianson, Assistant Attorney General, with them Thomas L. Holzman, Assistant Attorney General, for respondents.

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

Author: Craig

[ 41 Pa. Commw. Page 224]

This is an appeal by Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation (employer), a self-insured, from an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) affirming the referee's decision awarding benefits to Clarence J. Speelman (claimant) and apportioning payment of benefits equally between employer and the Commonwealth.

Claimant was an underground coal miner from 1928 through July 8, 1973.*fn1 Claimant ceased working upon reaching his 65th birthday. During the last year

[ 41 Pa. Commw. Page 225]

    of his employment, claimant performed lighter than normal duties, and was required to take more breaks, due to shortness of breath.

On October 25, 1974, following a medical examination of claimant, the examining doctor determined that claimant was totally and permanently disabled as a result of coal worker's pneumoconiosis, and that his condition was the result of his exposure to dust while working in the coal mines. Claimant gave notice of his disability to employer on November 17, 1974.

Claimant filed a petition, a hearing was held and medical depositions were taken, after which the referee awarded benefits to claimant and ordered the benefits to be apportioned 50% to employer and 50% to the Commonwealth. The employer appealed to the Board, which affirmed the referee's decision, and amended the referee's order to include payment of the doctor's fee and transcription costs for the deposition of one of the doctors. This appeal followed.

Employer raises two issues in this appeal.

The first is whether an exposure of three days after June 30, 1973 is sufficient to bring this case within Section 301(c) of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act (Act), Act of June 2, 1915, P.L. 736, as amended, 77 P.S. ยง 411(2), the ...


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