Appeal from the order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in the case of Earl E. Beebe, Dec'd. Margaret M. Beebe, Widow v. Bendix Corporation, No. A-89922.
Paul Philip Ackourey, for petitioner.
William E. Wyatt, Jr., Bialkowski, Fine & Bialkowski, P.C., for respondent.
Judges Craig, Colins, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Barbieri.
[ 112 Pa. Commw. Page 579]
Margaret M. Beebe, widow of Earl E. Beebe, deceased, Claimant in this fatal claim petition proceeding under Section 307 of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act (Act),*fn1 appeals here the order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) which affirmed a referee's disallowance of benefits for the death of the deceased employee, Earl E. Beebe. We affirm.
The referee found that decedent, age 57 at the time of his death, was a cigarette smoker, smoking 2 to 3 packs per day from the age of 13 until 1970, and a pipe thereafter until July of 1979. He died on November 19, 1979, with the cause of death stated as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. As to decedent's employment, the referee found:
8. The decedent was employed by the defendant as a bench hand for some years. In this job, he cleaned rotors and commutators with sandpaper or brass. He used acetone for cleaning. He did not handle other chemicals. His previous
[ 112 Pa. Commw. Page 580]
jobs with the defendant were as a sandblaster, chipper, janitor, maintenance mechanic and chip segregator.
Claimant averred that decedent's employment with Bendix Corporation exposed him to cleaning and acidic solutions which produced noxious fumes, and the cleaning of parts generated dust in the air and around decedent's work environment over a period of some 26 years of employment at Bendix. As to decedent's condition prior to the time of his death, the referee found that he had been hospitalized on many occasions for lung disorders. The referee further found:
6. The immediate cause of death was respiratory failure due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The decedent also had generalized arteriosclerotic cardiovascular heart disease and left ventricular failure as well as diabetes mellitus and exogenous obesity.
9. A variety of chemicals were used in spaces which adjoined the decedent's workplace. The presence of these chemicals in the atmosphere ...