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ROBERT E. TAYNTON v. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (UNICO MAJIK MARKETS (09/11/86)

decided: September 11, 1986.

ROBERT E. TAYNTON, JR., NATURAL FATHER AND ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE OF SHELLY LYNN TAYNTON, DECEASED, PETITIONER
v.
WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (UNICO MAJIK MARKETS, INC.), RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in the case of Shelly Lynn Taynton, Deceased, Robert E. Taynton, Jr., Father v. Unico Majik Markets, Inc., No. A-90057.

COUNSEL

Raymond E. Ginn, Jr., Owlett & Lewis, P.C., for petitioner.

Jonathan E. Butterfield, Liebert, Short, Fitzpatrick & Hirshland, for respondent, Unico Majik Markets, Inc.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr., and Senior Judges Rogers and Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Kalish.

Author: Kalish

[ 100 Pa. Commw. Page 465]

Petitioner, Robert E. Taynton, Jr., petitions for review of an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) which accepted a stipulation submitted by petitioner and respondent, Unico Majik Markets, Inc., and indicated that the case was considered closed. We affirm the Board.

Petitioner filed a fatal claim petition based on a stipulation of facts submitted by the parties. The stipulation reveals that petitioner's daughter, Shelly Lynn Taynton, was employed by respondent as a clerk in one of its stores. Ms. Taynton was a twenty-one year old college student, who was working during her summer vacation, and was financially independent. On July 5, 1982, while Ms. Taynton was alone in the store, she was shot and killed by a third party assailant. The stipulation further establishes that at the time of Ms. Taynton's death, she was not directly contributing any earnings to her parents in order to provide them some of the ordinary necessities in keeping with their station in life.

Based on the stipulation, and without conducting a hearing, the referee concluded that petitioner failed to prove that he was dependent on his daughter at the time of her death for any of the ordinary necessities of life. Thus, the referee dismissed petitioner's fatal claim petition. Petitioner appealed, and the Board issued an order indicating that it accepted the stipulation which resolved all issues on appeal, and that it considered the case closed and returned to the Bureau.

Petitioner argues that the referee committed an error of law in holding that in order to find dependency a claimant must prove that he was dependent on the decedent for any of the ordinary necessities of life. Petitioner also challenges the constitutionality of the statutory requirement of dependency.

[ 100 Pa. Commw. Page 466]

Section 307 of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act (Act), Act of June 2, 1915, P.L. 736, as amended, 77 P.S. ยง 561, provides:

In case of death, compensation shall be computed on the following basis, and distributed to the following persons . . .

5. If there be neither widow, widower, nor children entitled to compensation, then the father or mother, if dependent to any extent upon the ...


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