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ROSEMARIE KRAWCHUK v. PHILADELPHIA ELECTRIC COMPANY (12/17/81)

decided: December 17, 1981.

ROSEMARIE KRAWCHUK, WIDOW OF JOHN KRAWCHUK, APPELLANT,
v.
PHILADELPHIA ELECTRIC COMPANY, APPELLEE



No. 245 January Term, 1979, On Appeal from the Order of the Commonwealth Court, No. 1583, C.D., 1977, Affirming Decision of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board dated July 21, 1977, No. A-72689

COUNSEL

Albert Ring, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Thomas F. McDevitt, Philadelphia, for Philadelphia Electric Co.

O'Brien, C. J., and Roberts, Nix, Larsen, Flaherty and Kauffman, JJ. Wilkinson, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case. Roberts, J., concurred in the result.

Author: Larsen

[ 497 Pa. Page 117]

OPINION

John Krawchuk died of a heart attack (myocardial infarction) at his home shortly after midnight on May 10, 1973. He had been employed for twenty-seven years as an electrical engineer with the Philadelphia Electric Company, the appellee.

Rosemarie Krawchuk, his widow and the appellant herein, filed a petition for workmen's compensation death benefits alleging the decedent's heart attack was "due to excessive strain and pressure and work in the course of his employment." Following several days of hearings, the referee, Irvin Stander, awarded compensation to the claimant. The referee made the following findings of fact:

7. At the time of his death, Claimant's decedent was working under great and unusual stress stemming from the work he was doing in connection with a special project known as "PMS4", and a treatise he was to deliver, on behalf of his employer, in California a few days later.

9. In addition to the special project, and other duties, Claimant's decedent had been working for several weeks on the preparation of a treatise to be delivered in California.

10. All of the above activities constituted additional and unusual exertion on the part of Claimant's decedent, arising from and related to his employment.

11. On the day prior to the heart attack, Claimant's decedent was examined by Dr. Albert J. Kraft, who at that time found the Claimant's decedent to appear tired and under great stress due to his added work load.

[ 497 Pa. Page 11812]

. For five hours prior to the heart attack, Claimant's decedent had been working at his home on the treatise which he was to deliver on behalf of his employer at a convention to be held in California a few days thereafter.

13. Dr. Kraft, a cardiology specialist, testified as to a casual relationship between the stress occasioned by Claimant's decedent's heavy work load and the fatal coronary which he sustained on May 10, 1973; and stated unequivocally that there was a causal relationship between the stressful events concerned with the decedent's work and his death from ...


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