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PFIZER v. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (RONALD S. GRESHAM (DEC'D) AND NANCY J. GRESHAM (WIDOW)) (12/28/89)

decided: December 28, 1989.

PFIZER, INC. AND PMA INSURANCE COMPANY, PETITIONERS,
v.
WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (RONALD S. GRESHAM (DEC'D) AND NANCY J. GRESHAM (WIDOW)), RESPONDENTS



PETITION FOR REVIEW (WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION).

COUNSEL

Charles E. Wasilefski, with him, Michael R. Bonshock, Peters & Wasilefski, Harrisburg, for petitioners.

Robert S. Mirin, Mirin & Jacobson, P.C., Harrisburg, for respondent/claimant.

Doyle and McGinley, JJ., and Barbieri, Senior Judge.

Author: Mcginley

[ 130 Pa. Commw. Page 321]

Pfizer, Inc. (Employer) and PMA Insurance Company (PMA) appeal an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) affirming a referee's decision to grant the fatal claim petition of Nancy Gresham (Claimant). We affirm.

On August 10, 1984, Claimant's husband, Ronald S. Gresham (Decedent), was employed by Pfizer as a full-time district manager when he and his son were killed in a traffic accident in Delaware. Claimant filed a fatal claim petition on November 21, 1984, alleging that the Decedent suffered fatal injuries while in the course of his employment. Employer answered on December 6, 1984, alleging that the Decedent was not covered under the extraterritorial provisions of Section 305.2(a) of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act (Act), Act of June 2, 1915, P.L. 736, as amended, 77 P.S. ยง 411.2(a) and that the Decedent was not furthering the interests of his employer at the time of his death.

The referee made the following relevant findings of fact:

5. . . . . His responsibilities included checking on stores within his Mid-Atlantic district. The decedent earned an average weekly wage of $942.31. Defendant provided

[ 130 Pa. Commw. Page 322]

    decedent with a leased car and reimbursed him for the car's business expenses. He was reimbursed for telephone charges incurred in the performance of his duties on behalf of the defendant.

6. The decedent maintained an office with business files in his home in Harrisburg. Further, the decedent made numerous business calls from his home. The decedent spent a great deal of time on the road checking stores within his district and maintained a flexible work schedule. The decedent did not usually work on Saturdays and Sundays.

7. The claimant, Nancy Gresham, testified, and I find as a fact, that she and her daughter, Karyn Lyn, were in Bethany Beach, Delaware on August 10, 1984 and that her husband and son intended to join them on August 10, 1984.

8. The decedent and his son departed Harrisburg after 7:00 a.m. on August 10, 1984. The decedent's district included the Eastern sector of Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia. The drive from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to Bethany beach was approximately 3 1/2 hours.

9. Debra Legar, an employee of Edgehill Pharmacy, in Dover, Delaware, testified and I find as fact, that the decedent and his son arrived at her store at 10:30 a.m. on August 10, 1984. He checked her store for about 1/2 hour and left the premises.

10. George Duncan, the decedent's supervisor, testified and I find as a fact, that decedent worked on Fridays and called him to report figures for the week. The decedent called at 11:15 a.m. on August 10, 1984 and [Duncan] was busy on another line. The decedent told him he was on the road and that he expected the decedent to call again on August 10, 1984.

11. The decedent and his son were travelling south on Route 113 in Delaware, 2.4 miles north of Georgetown at 12:15 p.m. on August 10, 1984. The decedent's son was driving, the ...


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