For the prosecutor, Walter R. Hespe and H. Jones.
For the defendant, Isidor Kalisch and Greenstone & Greenstone.
Before Case, Chief Justice, and Justices Heher and Colie.
The opinion of the court was delivered by
CASE, CHIEF JUSTICE. This is a workman's compensation case, instituted by the widow, in which the Bureau found,
with affirmance by the Essex Pleas on appeal, that an accident which had arisen out of and in the course of the employment and which had been the occasion of an award for partial permanent disability to the employee during his life time was a contributory factor in his subsequent death.
The decedent, Adolph Brunner, was employed by the prosecutor in certiorari as building superintendent and janitor for several apartment houses. On December 26th, 1943, while he was working in, and as a part of, his employment, laboring with some large furnace clinkers in the endeavor to break them apart with a heavy steel poker weighing about 75 pounds, he fell ill, presently collapsed, and suffered a hemorrhage on the left side of the brain, affecting speech. He filed a petition for compensation with the Bureau. That tribunal, on May 5th, 1944, determined that the petitioner had proved an injury due to an accident arising out of and in the course of his employment on December 26th, 1943, that the accident had "caused an injury to petitioner's heart and cerebral damage" resulting in a permanent disability thirty-five per cent. of total, and awarded "175 weeks compensation at the compensation rate of $20 per week, or a total of $3,500," in addition to medical and hospital bills and counsel fees. The determination was not appealed from and so far as it goes is res judicata. Breheny v. County of Essex, 132 N.J.L. 584, 589.
In May of 1944 Brunner moved from Newark to Seaside Heights, New Jersey. He was ailing, unable to work, did some fishing and whiled away his time. About April 10th, 1945, he had a heart attack and was treated by Dr. Van De Sande, who diagnosed the trouble as myocardial degeneration, heart block, and arteriosclerosis probably involving the coronary artery, with cerebral edema and probably a small cerebral hemorrhage. On May 2d Brunner was taken to the Spring Lake Heights Hospital. On May 15th he was removed to the Newark City Hospital, where, on May 27th, 1945, he died, at the age of sixty-five years. After his death the widow filed the present petition claiming compensation upon the allegation that death was caused by the above mentioned accident. Both the Bureau and the Pleas found affirmatively.
The main question is one of fact, namely, whether the accident
was a contributory cause of the death; and the medical ...