Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in the case of Donald P. Talerico, Deceased, Marilyn Talerico, Widow v. Action, Inc., No. A-91781.
Michael P. Shay, Shay & Santee, for petitioner.
John R. Lenahan, Jr., Lenahan & Dempsey, P.C., for respondent.
Judges Craig and Palladino, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino. Dissenting Opinion by Senior Judge Barbieri.
[ 116 Pa. Commw. Page 82]
Action, Inc. (Petitioner) appeals an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) affirming the decision of a referee to award death benefits to Marilyn B. Talerico (Claimant) on behalf of Donald P. Talerico (Decedent). We reverse.
Decedent was employed by Petitioner as a supervisor and managed Petitioner's Scranton, Pennsylvania office.*fn1 On the evening of February 10, 1983, Decedent attended a meeting of the Northeastern Claims Association, which is an association of insurance adjusters and
[ 116 Pa. Commw. Page 83]
others involved in the insurance industry.*fn2 As he returned home from the meeting, Decedent was fatally injured when he slipped on a patch of ice in his driveway, fell, and impaled himself on a metal pipe in the yard.*fn3
Claimant filed a fatal claim petition on May 23, 1983. At the hearings held before the referee, Claimant testified that when she returned from work at 11:30 P.M. on February 10, 1983, Decedent was not at home. Claimant further testified that she found Decedent's body in the driveway at approximately 7:00 A.M. on the morning of February 11, 1983.*fn4 Claimant also presented the testimony of Thomas Sawchak, one of Decedent's co-workers, and George F. Gallagher, one of Decedent's acquaintances. Both attended the meeting and indicated that when they left the site of the meeting, Decedent remained there to play cards with other members of the Association.*fn5
Claimant also presented the testimony of David Druck, now president of Petitioner, who indicated that the Northeastern Claims Association (Association) conducts monthly meetings, which include discussion of
[ 116 Pa. Commw. Page 84]
business, guest speakers, and socializing. Mr. Druck stated that attendance at the Association meetings was an important way of making contacts with representatives of the insurance industry in order to obtain new business and maintain old business. Mr. Druck also testified that Petitioner paid its employees' membership dues in the Association, expected the employees to attend the ...