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F. W. KESTLE ASSOCIATES AND UNITED STATES FIDELITY & GUARANTY COMPANY v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (10/20/80)

decided: October 20, 1980.

F. W. KESTLE ASSOCIATES AND UNITED STATES FIDELITY & GUARANTY COMPANY, PETITIONERS
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD AND ANDREW P. LEONARD, RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Andrew P. Leonard v. F. W. Kestle Associates, No. A-76799.

COUNSEL

Ronald Ganassi, of Will & Keisling, for petitioners.

Thomas P. Geer, for respondent, Andrew P. Leonard.

Judges Blatt, Craig and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.

Author: Craig

[ 54 Pa. Commw. Page 314]

Employer*fn1 appeals from an order of the board*fn2 affirming a referee's award of compensation to Alice Leonard, the widow of a deceased employee,*fn3 whose death resulted from a heart attack. Causation is at issue. We affirm.

Employer furnishes equipment for window displays in shops and stores. Decedent's duties, which occasionally required him to take overnight trips out of town, consisted of transferring props to job sites and placing them in display windows. Upon arriving at job sites decedent normally received assistance in unloading the props and placing them in the display windows.

The referee found that, within the 24-hour period immediately preceeding 9:00 p.m. May 7, 1975, the decedent suffered a heart attack and stroke which left him totally disabled until his death on September 11, 1975. The referee concluded that the facts indicated that decedent's heart attack and stroke were precipitated by decedent's exertion while he was in Wisconsin performing his duties for employer from May 4 through May 7, 1975.*fn4 Moreover, the findings of fact state that the decedent's death on September 11, 1975

[ 54 Pa. Commw. Page 315]

    was due to a heart attack caused in part by the stroke decedent suffered in May, 1975.

Therefore the referee awarded benefits to decedent's widow based upon her Fatal Claim Petition filed under The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act.*fn5

The employer contends that the record is devoid of substantial competent evidence causally connecting decedent's heart attack and stroke suffered in May, 1975 with his employment. We cannot agree.

After carefully examining the record, we hold that the testimony of Dr. John E. Love, decedent's family and attending physician during the period pertinent to this case, provided substantial competent evidence to establish a causal connection between decedent's injuries and his employment. Based upon the history decedent gave him on May 7, 1975, Dr. Love testified that decedent's heart attack and stroke suffered in May, ...


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