Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board, in case of Violet Bernardini w/o Mario v. Italian Marble Mosaic Company, No. A-85916.
John M. Cleary, for petitioner.
No appearance for respondents.
Judges Craig and Palladino, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino.
[ 97 Pa. Commw. Page 515]
This is an appeal by Violet Bernardini (Petitioner)*fn1 from an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) affirming a referee's decision which dismissed Petitioner's fatal claim petition. We affirm.
Petitioner's husband, Mario Bernardini (Decedent) had been employed by Italian Marble Mosaic Company (Employer) as a tile layer for twenty years prior to his death on September 22, 1976. On that date, Decedent reported to work at 8:00 a.m. At approximately 8:30 a.m. Decedent collapsed and he was taken to a local hospital. Later that same day, while Decedent was being transported to another hospital, he died of a dissecting aneurysm of the aorta. Petitioner filed a fatal claim petition which, after several referee's hearings, was denied. The referee concluded that the cause of
[ 97 Pa. Commw. Page 516]
Decedent's death was not related to his employment. The Board affirmed the referee's decision.
Petitioner now appeals to this Court asserting that the referee erred: (1) by rejecting the testimony of Petitioner's expert medical witness as equivocal; and (2) by relying on the testimony of Employer's expert medical witness. We conclude that both arguments are without merit.
Petitioner's expert medical witness, Dr. Shubin, testified that he did not examine or treat Decedent, but that he had reviewed Decedent's medical records. Based upon this review and the circumstances surrounding Decedent's death, as related to him by Petitioner's attorney, Dr. Shubin testified as follows:
Q. Now, as that is ammended [sic], Doctor, to include the facts that I just put in, do you have an opinion as to whether there was a causal connection; and this opinion must be based on reasonable, medical certainty between what was diagnosed as a ruptured dissecting ...