Appeal, No. 21, Feb. T., 1963, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County, March T., 1962, No. 887, in case of Mrs. Mary Bobbouine v. Rex Shoe Company et al. Judgment affirmed.
David L. Pennington, with him Joseph R. Thompson, for appellants.
Charles J. Bufalino, Jr., with him Gifford Cappellini, for appellee.
Before Rhodes, P.j., Ervin, Wright, Woodside, Watkins, Montgomery, and Flood, JJ.
[ 200 Pa. Super. Page 274]
This is a workmen's compensation case in which the Referee, affirmed by the Board, made an award for total disability. Upon appeal to the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County, the decision of the Board was affirmed, and judgment was entered in favor of the claimant. The employer and its insurance carrier have appealed.
On February 26, 1958, Mrs, Mary Bobbouine, the claimant, was employed as a stitcher by the Rex Shoe Company. While walking across the employer's parking lot on her way to work, claimant's foot "went down in a hole covered with ice and snow", and she fell on her back. She was suffering severe pain and was immediately taken to the office of Dr. Sylvia Reich, who sent her to the Nesbitt Hospital for X-rays. After returning home claimant called Dr. Albert M. Beiderman, who arranged for her admission to the Pittston Hospital, where she remained ten days. She was treated by Dr. Beiderman until June, 1958, at which time, being pregnant, she was placed under the care of Dr. John Testa. The baby was born on January 4, 1959. Three weeks thereafter she again experienced "severe pain in my lower back ... and ... had a terrific swelling of the left leg all the way up to the thigh". She was unable to walk, and was confined to her bed for several weeks under the care of Dr. Testa. On April 7, 1959, the severe back pain and swelling in the leg recurred. Dr. Testa was ill at that time, and claimant was temporarily cared for by Dr. Beiderman. He arranged for her re-admission to the Pittston Hospital, where she remained for twenty-seven days. Claimant was again hospitalized for seven days in April, 1960. She is still under the care of Dr. Testa, and has never been able to resume her employment.
[ 200 Pa. Super. Page 275]
Dr. Beiderman testified that, as of June 22, 1958, claimant was "free from total disability". He made no determination as to partial disability, but reported to the insurance carrier that claimant was able to return to work. Dr. Beiderman further testified that claimant's hospitalization in April, 1959, was due to thrombo-phlebitis, which condition was not causally related to the accident. Our examination of the record leads us to agree with the court below that Dr. Beiderman's testimony "was unfortunately vague and inexact and based upon somewhat incomplete records and hazy recollection". Claimant was not bound by it. Cf. Jerominski v. Fowler, Dick & Walker, 372 Pa. 291, 93 A.2d 433.
Dr. Testa testified that claimant came under his care on July 1,1958, at which time she was complaining of severe pain in the lower lumbar area, and that he treated her for this condition continuously thereafter, except for the period from April 7, 1959, to May 3, 1959, when she was under Dr. Beiderman's care. Dr. Testa stated that "this patient has a slipped disc and from time to time she has very severe pain - that's when that disc slips out of its position, and when it goes back into normal position she has mild pain". He testified that the swelling in claimant's leg was not due to thrombo-phlebitis, but was caused by the back condition. He explained that a slipped disc causes pain "down the sciatic nerve" which results in a circulatory disturbance with ensuing swelling of the leg. Dr. Testa stated that, during the entire period of time he treated claimant, she was totally disabled.
Dr. Eugene K. Weiss, a witness on behalf of the employer, testified that he examined the claimant on March 28, 1958, and again on July 9, 1959, and that he could find no objective evidence of injury. He expressed the opinion that "claimant cannot ...