Poluski v. Glen Alden Coal Co.

Decision Date03 May 1926
Docket Number51
Citation133 A. 819,286 Pa. 473
PartiesPoluski v. Glen Alden Coal Co., Appellant
CourtPennsylvania Supreme Court

Argued April 12, 1926

Appeal, No. 51, Jan. T., 1926, by defendant, from judgment of C.P. Luzerne Co., July T., 1924, No. 1142, and March T. 1925, No. 567, affirming decision of Workmen's Compensation Board, allowing claim in case of Eva Poluski v Glen Alden Coal Co., Affirmed.

Appeal from decision of Workmen's Compensation Board awarding compensation. Before FULLER, P.J.

The opinion of the Supreme Court states the facts.

Decision affirmed. Defendant appealed.

Error assigned was, inter alia, judgment, quoting record.

Judgment affirmed at the cost of appellant.

Elmer D. Adair, with him Evan C. Jones and J. H. Oliver, for appellant. -- Since no one saw this accident, the only testimony relating to the happening itself is the unsworn declarations of the deceased to members of his family when he arrived at his home, to various neighbors and to the doctors who attended him several days later: Smith v. Coal & Iron Co., 284 Pa. 35; Riley v. Steel Co., 276 Pa. 82; Onofrey v. Collieries Co., 274 Pa. 173; McCauley v. Woolen Co., 261 Pa. 312.

Roger J. Dever, with him George J. Llewellyn, for appellee, cited: Zukowsky v. Coal & Iron Co., 270 Pa. 118; Smith v. Stoner, 243 Pa. 57; Van Eman v. F. & C. Co., 201 Pa. 537; Riley v. Steel Co., 276 Pa. 82; Grobuski v. Koal Co., 80 Pa.Super. 349; Leary v. Gibson Co., 3 Dep. R. 1619; Guyer v. Gas Co., 279 Pa. 5.




Deceased, an employee of Glen Alden Coal Company, was injured January 4th, and died March 14th. The Workmen's Compensation Board found the injury to have been incurred during the course of employment and awarded compensation. That was affirmed by the court below. On this appeal the company challenges the award for the reason that there was no competent evidence to sustain the finding of a compensable injury.

Appellee's claim was that a piece of rock, coal or lumber fell on deceased's foot while he was either topping off a car or working with mine props. The great toe was severely injured; blood poisoning set in shortly after the accident and from it death resulted. The evidence, while not of the convincing character of many of the cases, is sufficient to sustain the inference of an injury in the course of employment. Seceased went to work "entirely well"; at or about 11 o'clock he was seen on the premises in an injured condition. He then told a fellow workman, who was employed in the same gangway at the mines, how the injury occurred. It was in the following language. "Q. In what condition did you find Poluski when you went over there? A. I asked him about the timber and he came over this way indicating that he was limping when he walked over and I asked what was the matter, and he said, 'I finishing finger,' indicating his toe. Q. Did he tell you how it was done? A. He said he finished his finger, indicating his toe. Q. Did he tell you what finished his toe? A. He didn't say, he just said he finished it." That this witness's testimony was in relation to an accident in the mines is shown to some extent in the cross-examination of David Jones, an employee of appellant. Claimant's physician and appellant's medical man in charge of the work testified: "Q. Did you ask him how he had come to hurt it? A. Yes, sir. Q. What did he say? A. He told me he hurt it in the mines on the 4th of January, 1923. Q. You treated him after that? A. Yes." This evidence was admitted without objection.

There is nothing in the evidence thus quoted or in the statements later made to his wife and son that would bring them within the res gestae rule. The length of time intervening between the accident and the conversation at 11 o'clock does not appear. The finding of an injury in the course of employment is here sustained, not on the theory that the statements as to the accident and its cause were in fact part of the res gestae, (Smith v. Phila. & Reading Coal & Iron Co., 284 Pa. 35; Riley v. Carnegie Steel Co., 276 Pa 82), but because the evidence was admitted without objection as proof of these substantive facts. Under this state of the record, they must be treated as though counsel deemed them part of the res gestae, or, if not, then that they were of sufficient probative value for the purpose intended -- that is, to show a compensable case. Where evidence, incompetent as hearsay, is admitted without objection and is relevant and material to the fact in issue, the court may give it the value of direct evidence and on it base a finding of fact; or it may be treated, by what may be taken as consent, as part of the res gestae in determining the issue. "A rule of evidence not invoked is waived": Wigmore, vol. I, section 18. "Inadmissible evidence, including hearsay evidence, admitted without objection, is not a nullity or void of probative force, but is to be given its natural probative effect as if it was in law admissible: 10 R.C.L. 1008. This is true even in a criminal case": Sawyer v. French, 290 Mo. 384, 235 S.W. 126, 130. See also Diaz v. U.S., 223 U.S. 442, 450, though the point discussed is more or less by way of dictum since in ...

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56 cases
  • Commonwealth v. Peay
    • United States
    • Pennsylvania Supreme Court
    • December 19, 1951
    ... ... value of direct evidence .' Poluski v. Glen ... Alden Coal Co., 286 Pa. 473, 476, 133 A. 819, 820.' ... In ... ...
  • United States v. Anthony
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Middle District of Pennsylvania
    • September 14, 1956
    ...was made and was therefore waived. See 20 Am.Jur. Evidence, § 768, p. 639; Henry op.cit. supra, § 441, p. 436; Poluski v. Glen Alden Coal Co., 1926, 286 Pa. 473, 133 A. 819. No attempt was made to explore the witness' knowledge. Cf. Henry, § 531, p. 526, with United States v. Stoehr, D.C., ......
  • United States v. Stoehr
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Middle District of Pennsylvania
    • September 5, 1951
    ...evidence not invoked is waived. Diaz v. United States, 223 U.S. 442, at page 450, 32 S.Ct. 250, 56 L.Ed. 500; Poluski v. Glen Alden Coal Co., 286 Pa. 473, at page 476, 133 A. 819. 42 As to 16G the defendant's testimony covered the matter in question. A corporation and its stockholders are s......
  • Frazier v. State
    • United States
    • Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
    • November 7, 1979
    ...is then competent to the full extent of such probative value as it may have under all the circumstances." Poluski v. Glen Alden Coal Co., 286 Pa. 473, 133 A. 819, 820 (1926). Furthermore, it has been said of hearsay that "if relevancy were not assumed, no special rule of exclusion would be ......
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