ITEMCOP vs Flonzo (GR No. L-21969 August 31, 1966)

Industrial Textile Manufacturing Company of the Philippines vs Flonzo
GR No. L-21969 August 31, 1966

Facts: Respondent Sofia Reyes Flonzo is the mother of the deceased Ricardo Flonzo, an employee of petitioner ITEMCOP for a little less than four years up to March 20, 1950 when he died after becoming paralyzed at the age of 25. His job was to replace empty loom beams attached to a weaving machines with fully loaded ones. An empty beam weighs from 15-30 kilos. During an 8-hour period, about 20 t0 30 beams are substituted on a total of 406 machines. Ricardo worked 8 hours a day, 6 days a week. Ricardo fell ill and was diagnosed by the ITEMCOP’s physician, Dr. Alfonso Ayesa  to be thrombocytopenic purpura, idipathic which was later on discovered as cerebral hemorrhage, secondary to blood deporia. When he died, his autopsy findings by Dr. Pedro Solis was anemia, severe, secondary to hemorrhagic gastric ulcer. A claim for Ricardo’s benefits was filed by his mother, Sofia at the Worker’s Compensation Commission.

Issue: Whether or not the death of Ricardo is compensable.

Held: Yes. Flonzo suffered bleeding in the stomach. Dr. Pedro Solis explained that even if the stomach is not empty, the frequent stress brought about by lifting heavy objects might produce an ulcer in the stomach, and this is known in medicine as “stress ulcer.” Further, the effect of continuous work on a person with stomach ulcer, Dr. Solis added is that will aggravate the deceased condition of the stomach, and most likely, it may produce hemorrhage which could be uncontrollable or controllable. There is then reason to believe, as the commission observes, that the continuous exertion of carrying beams during his employment gradually, if imperceptibly, resulted to his illness causing paralyzation of half of his body and ultimately his death.

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