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ALCOA v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (02/01/80)

decided: February 1, 1980.

ALCOA, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD AND DELPHINE HUBER, WIDOW OF FLOYD HUBER, DECEASED, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Delphine Huber, widow of Floyd Huber v. Alcoa, No. A-75355.

COUNSEL

Wallace B. Eldridge, III, of Lipkin, Stutzman, Marshall & Bohorad, P.C., for appellant.

Stephen P. Ellwood, with him Lester Krasno, for appellee.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Mencer and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig. Judge DiSalle did not participate in the decision in this case.

Author: Craig

[ 49 Pa. Commw. Page 153]

Alcoa (employer) appeals from a decision and order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (board) affirming the referee's grant of benefits to claimant, wife of decedent Floyd Huber.

[ 49 Pa. Commw. Page 154]

Decedent, 52 years old, had been employed by Alcoa for 29 years. He last worked on August 10-11, 1976, the 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. shift, when, as the testimony establishes, decedent worked as part of the stretcher-saw-finisher crew, racking various weights and lengths of aluminum. At the crew's 4:30 a.m. break, decedent complained that his shoulder was hurting him badly; after that break, decedent performed only paper work for the remainder of the shift.

Claimant testified that decedent, complaining of pain across his shoulders and numbness in his arm, went to the doctor around 5:00 p.m. on August 11, and returned home with medication for arthritis. Claimant testified that during the next days, decedent's condition deteriorated: decedent developed a cough, felt wet and clammy, had trouble breathing, couldn't sleep, and continued to experience shoulder pain. On August 16th, decedent's increased symptomology prompted claimant to call a different doctor, who admitted decedent to the hospital. Decedent died one-and-a-half hours after admission.

Where the board has affirmed the award of the referee granting benefits, our scope of review is limited to a determination of whether there is substantial competent evidence to support any necessary findings of fact and whether the board and referee have committed an error of law. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board v. Auto Express, Inc., 21 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 559, 561, 346 A.2d 829, 831 (1975).

Employer first asserts that the board erred in failing to remand the case to the referee where the referee did not make a specific finding with regard to the exact nature of the work decedent was engaged in on his last work shift.

In a heart attack claim, claimant must show that: (1) the heart attack arose in the course of decedent's

[ 49 Pa. Commw. Page 155]

    employment, and (2) that it was causally connected with his work. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board v. Bowen, 26 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 593, 364 A.2d 1387 (1976); Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board v. Jeddo ...


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