Eastwood, Bigelow and Jayne. The opinion of the court was delivered by Bigelow, J.A.D.
The appellant has a heart condition for which he seeks compensation under the Workmen's Compensation Law. The only question presented by the appeal is whether or not the injury to his heart was caused by an unusual strain in the course of his employment. If not, compensation must be denied. Seiken v. Todd Dry Dock , 2 N.J. 469 (1949).
Appellant, age 57, was a salesman of asbestos shingles, or siding. On the day of the alleged accident he called about noon on one Rizzi, who lived on the third floor of a three-family house. There was a flight of six or seven steps from the sidewalk to the front door, 14 or 15 steps more to the second floor, and the same number to the third floor. "I practically ran up the steps to make time." He found that Rizzi needed siding for a house on Seventh Street, a couple
of blocks away. They discussed what type of material would be suitable and finally Seiler said he would have to measure the building before he could give Rizzi a price. So he left, drove to the building, did the measuring, and was back in half an hour.
"I took some of the siding samples in a brief bag and hurriedly made for" Rizzi's apartment. On the steps from the sidewalk to the front door, he felt he was overstraining himself. After an interruption of his testimony by counsel, he resumed his narrative:
"I was getting this brief bag and the figures and, as I walked up the steps, it was an effort, quite an awful lot of effort, to keep from letting go of these things, but I kept on and, as I got midway up to the second landing, I couldn't breathe too well, and my heart began to pound, and I continued up in spite of that until I got to the landing of the second floor. At that point I simply could not breathe at all and I got an awful piercing pain across my chest so that I was completely out, dropped everything I had, and laid down on the floor."
His counsel asked him what he was carrying at the time and he replied:
"I had six pieces of a certain siding, insulated siding, and another sample, it is a grouping of samples, put together from a sort of a book made of contents that are an asphalt shingle and, in addition to that, I had my brief bag in which there were literature and other things pertaining to the business. That was all that I was carrying at that time."
The total weight he estimated at 48 pounds. The six pieces of siding weighed four pounds each; the book which contained 10 or 12 samples of asphalt shingle, weighed 14 pounds, and his brief case with contents made up the balance.
After lying on the landing for some time, Seiler climbed the last flight of stairs, still carrying all 48 pounds, and showed his samples to Rizzi. They talked for about 25 minutes but came to no definite conclusion. Then Seiler departed, taking his belongings with him, without having mentioned the heart attack.
He drove about two miles to Lake Street, where he had another call to make. As he was reaching his destination, the pain began to come on again and grew worse. After lying down for a while, he had himself driven to his home. A doctor was summoned the same day and found him suffering from coronary thrombosis. The thrombus (or blood clot) caused a permanent injury to Seiler's heart. We are satisfied that while the heart was in poor condition before the happening above recited, a serious injury or aggravation ...