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Pierson v. National Fire Proofing Corp.

Decided: February 13, 1937.

MARVIN PIERSON, ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE OF WILLIAM NUCKELS, DECEASED, AND JAMES EDWARDS, DOROTHY EDWARDS, RUTH EDWARDS, ROBERT EDWARDS, VIRGINIA EDWARDS, MINORS, BY SADIE EDWARDS, THEIR NEXT FRIEND, PROSECUTORS,
v.
NATIONAL FIRE PROOFING CORPORATION, DEFENDANT



On writ of certiorari.

For the prosecutors, W. Reading Gebhardt (Gebhardt & Gebhardt).

For the defendant, Clarence B. Tippett.

Before Brogan, Chief Justice, and Justices Case and Perskie.

Case

The opinion of the court was delivered by

CASE, J. Prosecutors are the children of Frank Edwards, a half-brother of William Nuckels, the deceased employe.

Following the death of the employe, prosecutors filed their petition for compensation under the Workmen's Compensation act. The defendant moved to dismiss upon the ground that the claimants were half-nephews and half-nieces of the decedent and as such were not within the application of the statute. The deputy commissioner determined that the ground was well taken and dismissed the petition. The Warren Common Pleas, on appeal, affirmed. The record is before us on writ of certiorari. The question is here, as it was below, whether the claimants are within the statute.

Those who, on the death of an employe, are entitled to relief are defined in section 12. In the original statute the designated dependents were the widow, child or children, father, mother, grandparents, grandchildren and minor or incapacitated brothers and sisters. The classification was revised by chapter 174, Pamph. L. 1913, p. 302, which amended the classification in section 12 to read as follows:

"The term 'dependents' shall apply to and include any or all of the following who are dependent upon the deceased at the time of the accident or death, namely, husband, wife, parents, step-parents, grandparents, children, step-children, grandchildren, posthumous child, illegitimate children, brothers, sisters, half-brothers, half-sisters. Legally adopted children shall, in every particular, be considered as natural children * * *."

The statute so remained until the 1919 amendment infra. The designations were precise and detailed. To parents the 1913 amendment added step-parents. To children it added posthumous children and illegitimate children. To brothers and sisters it added half-brothers and half-sisters. Legally adopted children were given status.

By chapter 93, Pamph. L. 1919, p. 266, "child in esse" was added following the word "grandchildren." So that by specific enumeration the statute was made to include a child, an adopted child, a child of one's spouse by an earlier marriage, a child born after the death of the employed parent and a child conceived but not yet born. It ...


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