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DONALD & SHIRLEY MAE RINEHIMER v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (05/13/82)

decided: May 13, 1982.

DONALD & SHIRLEY MAE RINEHIMER, D/B/A RIVERVIEW BLOCK COMPANY, PETITIONERS
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD AND EARL R. RINEHIMER, RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Earl R. Rinehimer v. Donald E. and Shirley Mae Rinehimer, d/b/a Riverview Block Company, No. A-77692.

COUNSEL

Joseph P. Lenahan, Lenahan & Dempsey, for petitioners.

Morton J. Gordon, with him Thomas J. Sharkey and Joseph Ustynoski, Ustynoski, Sharkey and Marusak, for respondent, Earl R. Rinehimer.

Judges Rogers, Blatt and Williams, Jr., sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr. Judges Mencer and Palladino did not participate in the decision in this case.

Author: Williams

[ 66 Pa. Commw. Page 481]

Donald and Shirley Mae Rinehimer, doing business as the Riverview Block Company (Company), have appealed from an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) affirming the award of total-disability benefits to Earl R. Rinehimer (claimant).

The claimant was awarded benefits because of a totally disabling heart attack, which the referee found to have been caused by the claimant's physical efforts in the course of his employment with the Company. Before this Court, the appellants do not contest that

[ 66 Pa. Commw. Page 482]

    the claimant suffered a heart attack; but they assert that the heart attack was not shown to have the requisite causal connection with the claimant's employment. The appellants also argue that the claimant did not comply with the 120-day notice requirement set forth in Section 311 of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act (Act),*fn1 and that, thus, the claim was completely barred.

As of April 3, 1976, the claimant was about 62 years old, and had been employed by the Company for approximately 18 years. His primary job was to drive a truck that transported ready-mix cement; although on some occasions he worked as a general laborer for the Company. On April 3, 1976, the claimant had no cement to deliver, and was engaged in the task of shoveling ashes, at the request of his employer and on the employer's premises. While so engaged, the claimant began to experience pain in his left shoulder and in his chest. According to the claimant, this pain would subside and recur after interim periods of rest. The claimant mentioned the pains to a fellow employee, but proceeded to complete his entire work shift of April 3rd. After having the following day off, the claimant returned to work on April 5, 1976, and worked every day thereafter until April 10, 1976, which would prove to be his last day of work.

On April 10, 1976, the claimant, while removing chutes from his cement truck during a delivery, once again experienced pain in his left shoulder and in his chest. According to the claimant, the pain on that occasion was more severe than the prior episode, and was accompanied by a "cold sweat." The claimant completed his work shift for April 10th, and told no one at the Company about his physical experience that day. The following day, April 11, 1976, was another

[ 66 Pa. Commw. Page 483]

    day off for the claimant. While he was at home that day, the claimant again had an attack of pain in his chest. This ...


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