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MUNNS v. EASTHOME FURNITURE INDUSTRIES (09/16/60)

September 16, 1960

MUNNS, APPELLANT,
v.
EASTHOME FURNITURE INDUSTRIES, INC.



Appeal, No. 74, Oct. T., 1960, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County, Oct. T., 1959, No. 37, in case of Melba K. Munns v. Easthome Furniture Industries, Inc. et al. Order reversed.

COUNSEL

Edgar R. Barnes, Jr., with him Arnold, Bricker, Beyer & Barnes, for appellant.

Ralph M. Barley, with him Barley, Snyder, Cooper & Mueller, for appellees.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, Watkins, and Montgomery, JJ.

Author: Ervin

[ 193 Pa. Super. Page 62]

OPINION BY ERVIN, J.

In this workmen's compensation case the referee and the board made an award to the claimant for 50 per cent partial disability. On appeal to the court below the award was disallowed. The claimant appealed.

The record discloses that on September 26, 1957 the claimant was using a two to three pound hand stapler driven by compressed air in stapling cotton wadding to long pieces of cardboard. As she was doing her work an extra strong gush of air came out of the stapler causing it to glance off the side of the table. Claimant immediately felt a twist or sprain in her left arm and a weakness. Shortly after this she felt a numbness in her fingers and about 2:00 am.m. the next day she was awakened with pain in the palm of her hand and in her shoulder, and her thumb and forefinger were numb. The claimant was transferred back to her regular job in the sewing room the same day the above incident occurred and continued working until she went to the hospital on December 29, 1957. From September 26, 1957 to December 29, 1957 she continued to work but had pain which increased and caused her to lose three days' work.

The claimant was in the hospital until January 22, 1958. During her stay in the hospital she received physiotherapy treatment and was placed in traction, first with 25 pound weights and increasing to 40

[ 193 Pa. Super. Page 63]

    pounds. These treatments were continued at the hospital as an out-patient and at home after she left the hospital. The claimant has not worked since she entered the hospital on December 29, 1957 and at the time of the hearing on September 17, 1958 she testified that she was incapacitated to the extent that she could not lift and tired easily. She continues to have pain in her neck and left side, a burning in her shoulder, weakness in her arm and numbness in her hands. She never had any such sensations before September 26, 1957.

When the pains continued claimant reported them to her employer's personnel manager and he arranged for an examination by Dr. Gilbert Clime. At Dr. Clime's suggestion she was first examined by Dr. John L. Polcyn, a neurosurgeon, on October 3, 1957, who diagnosed her complaint as functional. Claimant's pains continued and she returned to Dr. Polcyn on December 11, 1957, when he changed his diagnosis of a functional disorder and recommended hospitalization for a myelogram and x-rays of the cervical spine. The myelogram revealed a defect in her cervical region that was compatible with a ruptured disc. Dr. Polcyn testified further that the experience with the stapler described by the claimant could have been the cause of her condition. In answer to the question, "Do you feel it caused that [ruptured disc] in this case?" Dr. Polcyn replied, "Since there were no complaints prior to that, it was a very good possibility it could have." The medical prognosis was that traction might effect a cure but unless the ruptured disc ...


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