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VOITEK TV SALES & SERVICE v. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (JOAN BRUNGES (01/31/83)

decided: January 31, 1983.

VOITEK TV SALES & SERVICE, INC., PETITIONER
v.
WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (JOAN BRUNGES, WIDOW OF FLOYD), RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Joan Brunges, Widow of Floyd v. Voitek TV Sales & Service, Inc., No. A-79284.

COUNSEL

Cal A. Leventhal, for petitioner.

Sandor Yelen, for respondent, Joan Brunges, widow of Floyd Brunges.

Judges Rogers, Williams, Jr. and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr.

Author: Williams

[ 71 Pa. Commw. Page 476]

In this case the employer appeals from a determination of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) that the decedent's widow (claimant) is entitled to benefits because her husband's fatal heart attack was work-related. We affirm.

Testimony indicates*fn1 that decedent worked as a television repairman for his brother-in-law. On February 28, 1979, while he was servicing a television

[ 71 Pa. Commw. Page 477]

    in a customer's home, he exhibited symptoms of physical discomfort, including breathing difficulties, grey color, excessive perspiration, abdominal pains, cramps and diarrhea. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where he promptly died of what his autopsy lists as coronary thrombosis, pulmonary edema, coronary artery atherosclerosis, and a myocardial infarction.

At the referee's hearing, the claimant's medical expert testified that he had not known the decedent; his information was based upon a history*fn2 given to him by the claimant, and upon the decedent's autopsy report. He recited a brief summary of the decedent's activities on the day in question, and then, in response to questioning, opined that the physical activities performed by the decedent for the employer on the day of his demise caused the heart attack from which he died. The referee awarded benefits.

[ 71 Pa. Commw. Page 478]

The employer appealed that decision, alleging that the doctor's statement of events was hearsay not otherwise supported by the record and therefore inadmissible. The Board summarized the testimony of other witnesses, including the employer himself*fn3 and the individual in whose home the fatal attack occurred. It concluded that the doctor's testimony was adequately supported by other evidence of record, and affirmed the referee.

On appeal to this Court the employer raises the same issue. Our scope of review in such cases is limited to a determination of whether an error of law was committed, any constitutional rights were violated, or any necessary findings of fact are unsupported by substantial evidence. Westinghouse Electric Corp. v. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board, 33 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 50, 381 A.2d 191 (1977). Employer couches his appeal in terms of alleged interrelated errors of law -- first, the admission of the testimony of the claimant's medical witness, since it ...


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