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MEEHAN v. PHILADELPHIA (11/13/56)

November 13, 1956

MEEHAN
v.
PHILADELPHIA, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 212, Oct. T., 1956, from order of Court of Common Pleas No. 3 of Philadelphia County, Sept. T., 1955, No. 6985, in case of Philip A. Meehan v. City of Philadelphia. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Thomas A. Masterson, Deputy City Solicitor, with him Myron Harris and Gordon Cavanaugh, Assistant City Solicitors, James L. Stern, Deputy City Solicitor, and David Berger, City Solicitor, for appellant.

Harry R. Back, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Carr, JJ.

Author: Hirt

[ 182 Pa. Super. Page 162]

OPINION BY HIRT, J.

Claimant had been a patrolman in the employ of the City of Philadelphia for twenty years, and he was on active duty on August 26, 1951. On that day he with another police officer was assigned to an Emergency Patrol Car. While responding to a radio call their patrol car collided with another car at Eleventh and Vine Streets in Philadelphia. Meehan was thrown from the police car to the street by the force of the impact. His injuries consisted in two broken ribs, a wrenched or twisted back and ruptured blood vessels in both legs. He was taken to Hahnemann Hospital

[ 182 Pa. Super. Page 163]

    for treatment but was discharged later on the same day. Prior to the accident claimant was active and he regularly performed the duties of a patrolman. Thereafter he was unable to do any work because of the injuries to his lower back.

Under date of January 16, 1952, almost five months after the injury there appeared in the medical record of the Police Surgeon for the first time a reference to "long standing hypertension". Claimant was treated for this condition at Philadelphia General Hospital until February 7, 1953. On February 14, 1953 he received from the Police Commissioner notice of his honorable discharge for the reason that he was "physically unable to properly perform the duties of a policeman." He received full wages until shortly before his discharge; claimant in this proceeding sought compensation for total disability from January 17, 1953.

The referee found that claimant was totally disabled as a result of the accident of August 26, 1951, and made an award. The board on appeal concluded that the claimant had "adequately shown a casual connection between the accident and his injury" and accordingly affirmed the referee's findings of fact, conclusions of law and the award. The lower court entered judgment on the award. In this appeal the city contends that since the claimant did not present medical evidence tending to connect his disability with the back injury, the award cannot stand in the face of affirmative medical opinion evidence produced by defendant that claimant's disability was due to a hypertensive cardiovascular disease.

The findings in this case, supported as they are by sufficient competent evidence, bring it within the well established rule of law that where there is such close connection between the accident and the injury as to ...


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