Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Robert J. Williams v. General Electric, Company, No. A-73304.
Charles S. Katz, Jr., with him Swartz, Campbell & Detweiler, for petitioners.
Thomas R. Bond, with him James M. Marsh, Albert E. Hart, Jr., and LaBrum and Doak, for respondents.
Judges Crumlish, Jr., Blatt and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., Rogers, Blatt, Craig and Williams, Jr. Judges Mencer and MacPhail did not participate. Opinion by Judge Craig. President Judge Bowman did not participate in the decision in this case.
This is an appeal by General Electric Company and Electric Mutual Insurance Company (employer) from a decision of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) reversing the referee's denial of benefits to Robert Williams (claimant). We affirm the Board.
Claimant's injury occurred while he was returning from employer's vending machines to his work area, carrying two soft drinks. As he was walking, claimant passed a co-worker, Lundell, walking in the opposite direction. In a manner not clearly evidenced in the record, claimant's soft drinks splashed into Lundell's face, and claimant fell into a scrap bin, severely lacerating his left nostril.
Claimant filed a claim with employer for compensation, which the employer denied. Claimant appealed, and, after a hearing, the referee found: (Emphasis added)
2. As Claimant approached Lundell, for reasons personal to Lundell and not related to Lundell's or Claimant's employment, Lundell made a remark which Claimant resented. Claimant retaliated by throwing both cups of soda into the face of Lundell.
3. Lundell, in turn, pushed (attempted to retaliate against) Williams.
4. As a result of this action by Lundell, Claimant was caused to trip and fall over pallets, known as bullpens, and to sustain an avulsion laceration of the left nostril.
5. Claimant was caused to trip and fall as a result of the assault upon his person by Mike Lundell which assault was motivated by ...