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LAWRENCE v. DELMONT FUEL COMPANY ET AL. (09/16/60)

September 16, 1960

LAWRENCE
v.
DELMONT FUEL COMPANY ET AL., APPELLANTS.



Appeal, No. 93, April T., 1960, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County, April T., 1959, No. 536, in case of John Lawrence v. Delmont Fuel Company et al. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

Robert W. Smith, Jr., with him B. Patrick Costello and Smith, Best & Horn, for appellants.

Joseph M. Loughran, for appellee.

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

Author: Gunther

[ 193 Pa. Super. Page 66]

OPINION BY GUNTHER, J.

This is an appeal from the order of the court below affirming the decision of the Workmen's Compensation Board in awarding claimant compensation for total disability arising from an accidental injury.

Claimant, John Lawrence, was employed by Delmont Fuel Company as a mechanic. On February 26, 1957, he was engaged in installing a trunnion on a shuttle car used in hauling coal. While he was so engaged, and as he was attempting to place the trunnion in the spline, the trunnion turned in his hands and twisted his back. Claimant notified his immediate superior

[ 193 Pa. Super. Page 67]

    of the accident but remained on the job until his work shift ended shortly after the accident. He went home and went to bed and when he could not get out of bed the next day, he consulted his family physician who, in turn, referred him to an orthopedic surgeon.

A claim petition was filed on July 1, 1957, and an answer was filed by the employer, denying the occurrence of an accident. Testimony was taken at the conclusion of which the referee awarded compensation to the claimant. From this adjudication, an appeal was filed to the board and on August 13, 1958, the board sustained the findings of the referee. However, since there was a conflict in the medical testimony as to the extent of the disability, the board remanded the record for the appointment of an impartial physician to determine the extent of disability. The referee again found in favor of the claimant and, from the testimony of the impartial physical examination, found that claimant was totally disabled as a result of the accident. An appeal was again filed with the board from this determination and the board, in an opinion dated May 27, 1959, again sustained the referee's determination that an accident occurred within claimant's course of employment resulting in total disability. From this determination, an appeal was filed in the court below which affirmed the action of the board.

On this appeal, as in the court below, the sole question raised is whether the claimant met the burden of proving that he sustained an accident resulting in total disability. Appellants contend that claimant, being the sole witness as to the cause of the injury, did not ...


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