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HARTFORD ACCIDENT & INDEMNITY CO. et al. v. WATERS.
34237.
Appeal; from Clarke Superior Court-- Judge West. June 26, 1952.
FELTON, J.
Where there was no expert opinion to the effect that those exertion contributed to the attack, unless and until some method is developed to ascertain with some degree of certainty that such an attack is not contributed to by exertion, we think that knowledge from human experience, including medical caution against exertion in such cases and the admitted opinion of experts that exertion might contribute to such an attack, authorized the finding in this case, on the weight of reasonable probabilities, that the amount of exertion in this case contributed to the cerebral hemorrhage which caused the deceased's death. See Bussey v. Globe Indemnity Co., 81 Ga. App. 401. 405 (59 S. E. 2d, 34); Lumbermen's Mutual Cas. Co. v. Bridges, 81 Ga. App. 395, 400 (55 S. E. 2d, 849); Fidelity & Cas. Co. v. Adams, 70 Ga. App. 297, 298 (28 S. E. 2d, 79); Travelers Irs. Co. v. Young, 77 Ga. App. 512 (48 S. E. 2d, 748); Williams v. Maryland Cas. Co., 67 Ga. App. 649 (21 S. E. 2d, 478).
The court did not err in affirming the award of the full board.
Mrs. Grady Waters filed a claim for compensation against Oconee Textile Mills Inc., where the deceased, the claimant's husband, was employed, and its carrier. On May 11, 1951, at about 7 a.m., he reported to work and was given the job of brushing lint from the head ends and foot ends of spinning frames with a broom from which most of the handle had been cut and which weighed from two to four pounds. The deceased had been performing this duty from five to fifteen minutes when he became dizzy and fainted. He was removed from the building in an unconscious state and while awaiting an ambulance he was perspiring and breathing heavily. He was removed to a hospital where he was attended by Drs. James A. Green and Tony Gallis. These doctors treated the deceased at the hospital until his death on May 18, 1951. Their diagnosis of the cause of the deceased's death was subarachnoid or cerebral hemorrhage.
At the hearing Dr. Henry Holliday testified: that exertion or anything that might raise blood pressure where there is a weakened vessel might precipitate the rupture of the vessel; that he did not treat the deceased and had not seen his medical record; that a cerebral hemorrhage might result from an injury, exertion or from some pathological condition; that he could not say what caused the deceased's hemorrhage.
Dr. Anthony Gallis testified: that he and Dr. James Green treated the deceased until his death; that the predominant cause of cerebral hemorrhage is hypertension, or high blood pressure, with arteriosclerosis, depending on the age of the patient; that the deceased had hypertension; that the deceased could have suffered this hemorrhage on the street, or in bed. In answer to a hypothetical question as to whether the deceased's exertion in performing his sweeping duties had anything to do with his having a hemorrhage, Dr. Gallis answered: "Well, that is a very difficult question to answer. Medical textbooks say that any exertion of any kind will bring about a condition like this, but it all depends on the amount of exertion. It [they] don't say going up the hill or severe exercise, or any sort of exertion will bring [it] about, but he has to have some predominant pathological condition in the brain such as arteriosclerosis or hypertension, to bring about cerebral hemorrhage." In answer to the question if in his opinion the deceased's exertion had anything to do with his suffering a hemorrhage, Dr. Gallis answered that he could not say yes or no, that he could not say one way or another.
Dr. James Green testified: that in his opinion the deceased would have suffered the hemorrhage regardless of where he was and probably regardless of what he was doing; that he could not say whether or not the deceased's exertion contributed to or had anything to do with his suffering a cerebral hemorrhage.
The single director found for the claimant and on appeal to the full board that board set aside the single director's finding of fact but found for the claimant and awarded compensation. The superior court on appeal affirmed the award of the full board and the employer and its carrier except.
Jake B. Joel, contra.
Ervin, Nix, Birchmore & Epting, for plaintiffs in error.
DECIDED OCTOBER 24, 1952.
Saturday May 23 04:48 EDT


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