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SEPTA v. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (SAXON) (05/30/84)

decided: May 30, 1984.

SEPTA, PETITIONER
v.
WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (SAXON), RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in the case of Herbert Saxon, deceased, Ernestine, widow v. SEPTA, No. A-83805.

COUNSEL

Thomas F. McDevitt, Thomas F. McDevitt, P.C., for petitioner.

Herbert Braker, for respondent, Ernestine Saxon, widow of Herbert Saxon.

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

Author: Craig

[ 82 Pa. Commw. Page 591]

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) questions the award of fatal claim benefits to Ernestine Saxon, widow of Herbert Saxon.

We must decide if substantial evidence supports the referee's findings of fact and if testimony by the claimant's expert witness was based upon hypothetical questions containing facts unsupported by, or contrary to, the evidence.

The referee found that Mr. Saxon was employed as a mechanic in SEPTA's garage for twelve years. On October 17, 1977, during his 9:00 a.m. coffee break, Mr. Saxon suffered an acute myocardial infarction, resulting in cardiopulmonary arrest and death that afternoon.

The referee also made the following pertinent findings of fact:

4. During the course of said twelve years Defendant's garage was poorly ventilated, exposing decedent to certain noxious and pervading fumes in the form of carbon monoxide emanating from the exhaust systems of as many as twelve buses under inspection and/or repair at one time by Defendant's employees each day since decedent's employment sometime in 1965.

6. The ventilation system installed by Defendant in approximately 1971 was seldom used by Defendant's garage employees and not kept in good repair.

[ 82 Pa. Commw. Page 5927]

. Mechanics inspecting Defendant's buses could only run the engines 2-3 minutes before being "smoked out" and had to open the two outside doors of ...


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