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KATIE BLACK v. BILLY PENN CORPORATION AND LIBERTY MUTUAL INSURANCE CO. (03/16/83)

decided: March 16, 1983.

KATIE BLACK, ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF MARVIN CONLEY, DECEASED, APPELLANT
v.
BILLY PENN CORPORATION AND LIBERTY MUTUAL INSURANCE CO., APPELLEES. WALTER GAY, JR., APPELLANT V. BILLY PENN CORPORATION AND LIBERTY MUTUAL INSURANCE CO., APPELLEE



Appeals in cases of Katie Black, Administratrix of the Estate of Marvin Conley, deceased v. Billy Penn Corporation and Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., No. 3632 May Term, 1980; Walter Gay, Jr. v. Billy Penn Corporation and Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, No. 3831 May Term, 1980; Katie Black, Administratrix of the Estate of Marvin Conley, Deceased v. Billy Penn Corporation and Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., No. 80-10036, and Walter Gay, Jr. v. Billy Penn Corporation and Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., No. 80-10037.

COUNSEL

Walter Gay, Jr., for appellants.

Daniel J. Gallagher, with him John C. Janos and Joseph R. Thompson, for appellees.

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

Author: Blatt

[ 72 Pa. Commw. Page 629]

In these consolidated cases, Katie Black, Administratrix of the Estate of Marvin Conley (claimant),

[ 72 Pa. Commw. Page 630]

    and her attorney Walter Gay, Jr., are appealing decisions of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County and the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County. Both trial courts ordered that the judgments entered against the Billy Penn Corporation and its insurer, Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. (appellees) be stricken.

The facts of the unusual workmen's compensation case are not in dispute. The claimant, while in the employ of the appellee, Billy Penn Corporation, received a compensable injury under the terms of Section 306(c) of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act (Act), Act of June 2, 1915, P.L. 736, as amended, 77 P.S. § 513(6), namely, the loss of a leg. Compensation proceedings began and before the referee rendered a decision in favor of the claimant on March 13, 1980, the claimant died of causes unrelated to the work injury. In an effort to collect the award of the referee, attorney Gay filed Praecipes to Enter Judgment in the aforementioned common pleas courts in the name of the claimant's estate and for himself, as an attorney entitled to 20% of the award.

Several questions of statutory construction are here involved. Admittedly, there are several sections of the Act which flatly contradict one another. Our decision-making process in such a situation, of course, is guided by the rules of construction provided by the General Assembly, and one such rule is that there is a presumption that the General Assembly intends the entire statute to be effective. Section 1922(2) of the Statutory Construction Act of 1972 (Act of 1972), 1 Pa. C.S. § 1922(2). Likewise, Section 1932 of the Act of 1972, 1 Pa. C.S. § 1932, provides that statutes in pari materia shall be construed together, if possible.

The claimant's estate and the attorney argue that the trial court erred in striking the judgments and cite

[ 72 Pa. Commw. Page 631]

Section 410 of the Act, 77 P.S. § 751 which provides in ...


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