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SMITH v. PULLMAN-STANDARD CAR MANUFACTURING CO. (12/14/60)

December 14, 1960

SMITH, APPELLANT,
v.
PULLMAN-STANDARD CAR MANUFACTURING CO.



Appeal, No. 240, April T., 1960, from judgment of County Court of Allegheny County, No. A-168 of 1960, in case of William F. Smith v. Pullman-Standard Car Manufacturing Company. Petition to remand dismissed and judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Hymen Schlesinger, for appellant.

Richard A. Gray, Jr., with him P. K. Motheral, and Reed, Smith, Shaw & McClay, for appellee.

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

Author: Wright

[ 194 Pa. Super. Page 264]

OPINION BY WRIGHT, J.

This is a workmen's compensation case in which the Referee and the Board found that claimant's present disability, if any, is not attributable to the accident alleged. Compensation was therefore disallowed on the ground that claimant had failed to carry his burden

[ 194 Pa. Super. Page 265]

    of proof. Upon appeal to the County Court of Allegheny County, claimant's exceptions were overruled and judgment was entered in favor of the defendant. This appeal followed.

The record discloses that Pullman-Standard Car Manufacturing Company was engaged in the business of manufacturing railroad cars. Appellant was employed as an acetylene burner.His claim petition averred that, on August 2, 1956, he was pushing a car floor and "was caused to slip". The nature of his injury was not set forth. The employer filed an answer demanding proof of an accident, asserting that appellant refused medical services, that he worked from the time of the alleged accident until the time of filing the claim petition, except for normal lay-offs, and that he was still employed in his regular job with no diminution of earnings.

Appellant testified before the Referee as follows: "Well, I was a burner there, a heater on this job. I didn't have to push on this job, and it was over the dinner hour, and some guy wanted a push and I gave him a push, and my foot slipped off a high tie and something hit me in the leg and two guys grabbed me to keep me from falling down and they said do I want a stretcher and I said no ... I hobbled from there to the dispensary".*fn1 Appellant thereafter received some payments under a health insurance policy carried by the employer. It was admitted by appellant that he had not suffered any reduction in pay.

[ 194 Pa. Super. Page 266]

Appellant's medical witness, Dr. Ralph M. Christie, made his initial examination on February 28, 1957. At that time, appellant complained that he was unable to get his right heel down properly, that it felt as though the tendon in the back was short. Dr. Christie testified as follows (italics supplied): "Q. What were your findings? A. Well, I found he had a particular area of some small size in the Achilles tendon, there seemed to be a calcified area in that tendon probably the size of a large thumb nail, something about that size. It seemed hard and gave the feel of a calcification in that particular tendon. Q. From your examination and your findings, would you say that such a condition could have arisen from the type of accident he had? A. Yes, could have arisen from that. He described the accident and that might have caused a partial rupture of the Achilles tendon that could produce calcification in that area ... Q. When was the last time you examined him? A. November, 1957. Q. And what were your findings then? A. He still had this calcified area in the tendon and complained of inability to get about, that he had a feeling of shortness in the Achilles tendon ... Q. Did Mr. Smith advise you at the time of his first visit that he twisted his foot as it slipped off a tie while pushing a car? A. That was the history of the accident he gave. Q. And on the basis of that history, you determined that this condition existed as a result of it? A. I determined that the ...


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