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BUCYRUS-ERIE COMPANY AND ARGONAUT INSURANCE COMPANY v. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (GOURN) (05/15/87)

decided: May 15, 1987.

BUCYRUS-ERIE COMPANY AND ARGONAUT INSURANCE COMPANY, PETITIONERS
v.
WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (GOURN), RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in the case of John B. Gourn v. Bucyrus-Erie, No. A-87651.

COUNSEL

Fred C. Trenor, Meyer, Darragh, Buckler, Bebenek & Eck, for petitioners.

Catherine A. Blue, Assistant Chief Counsel, for respondent, State Workmen's Insurance Fund.

John W. McTiernan, Caroselli, Spagnolli & Beachler, for respondent, John B. Gourn.

Judges MacPhail and Colins, and Senior Judge Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 106 Pa. Commw. Page 186]

Argonaut Insurance Company (Argonaut) petitions for our review of an order of the Workmen's Compensation

[ 106 Pa. Commw. Page 187]

Appeal Board (Board) which affirmed an order of a referee ordering Argonaut to pay John B. Gourn (Claimant) disability benefits under The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act, Act of June 2, 1915, P.L. 736, as amended, 77 P.S. ยงยง 1-1031. We affirm.

The sole issue we are confronted with is whether Argonaut is liable to pay Claimant the benefits or whether one of the insurance companies that was previously the workmen's compensation carrier for the Bucyrus-Erie Company (Employer) should be liable.

We keep in mind that our scope of review of Board decisions is limited to determining whether an error of law was committed, whether any necessary fact findings are not supported by substantial evidence or whether constitutional rights have been violated. Holgate v. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (City of Philadelphia), 104 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 32, 521 A.2d 82 (1987).

Claimant's disability is related to lung cancer which he contracted as a result of his long exposure to asbestos in Employer's factory. Central to the issue presented for our review is the referee's finding of fact number seven:

7. In his work as an electrician and maintenance man claimant could work on various pieces of electrical equipment, including motors, cranes, annelling [sic] ovens, mold ovens, welding cables and wrappings. Claimant estimated that he spent approximately four hours each working day working on overhead cranes above the pouring operations. The claimant, in his work as an electrician, would come in contact with materials that contained asbestos. The mold ovens were encased in asbestos. Welders and airarcers would ...


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