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ALMA DUDNICK v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (04/30/79)

decided: April 30, 1979.

ALMA DUDNICK, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD AND HANSEN-YOUNG PAPER CORP., RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Alma M. Dudnick, widow of Nathan Dudnick v. Hansen-Young Paper Corporation, No. A-73145.

COUNSEL

Joseph W. Lonergan, with him Arthur L. Jenkins, Jr., and Smith, Aker, Grossman, Hollinger & Jenkins, for petitioner.

Martin J. Fallon, Jr., for respondents.

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

Author: Mencer

[ 42 Pa. Commw. Page 325]

On January 9, 1975, Nathan Dudnick was employed by the Hansen-Young Paper Corporation (employer), and while engaged in inspecting certain machinery he was struck from the rear by a forklift truck and suffered a broken right leg. A compensation claim was filed for the broken leg, and disability benefits were paid to Nathan Dudnick through February 18, 1975, that being the date of his death.

The decedent's widow filed a fatal claim petition seeking dependency benefits, and the issue presented

[ 42 Pa. Commw. Page 326]

    at the hearing before the referee was whether Nathan Dudnick's death was causally related to the work injury of January 9, 1975.

The claimant presented the deposition of Dr. Rosenberg to meet her burden of proof on the issue of causation, and the employer in defense called as a witness Dr. Uricchio, who testified to a contrary professional opinion from that of Dr. Rosenberg as to whether Nathan Dudnick's death was causally related to his work injury. The referee made the following three critical findings of fact:

5. That in the year of 1956 the Claimant suffered a first myocardial infarction. Further that in March of 1968 the Claimant suffered a second myocardial infarction.

6. That on November 28, 1974 the decedent-employee was admitted to the Phoenixville Hospital where the following diagnoses were made: (1) coronary heart disease; (2) congestive heart failure -- acute and chronic secondary to coronary heart disease; (3) hypertension -- essential labile; and (4) late latent lues -- suspected not proven.

7. That the decedent's death on February 18, 1975 was in no way related to the work-related injury of January 9, 1975. Further that the Referee specifically accepts the opinion of Dr. Uricchio relative to causation. Further that the Referee specifically rejects ...


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