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TRETINIK v. UNITED STATES STEEL CORPORATION (12/10/69)

decided: December 10, 1969.

TRETINIK, APPELLANT,
v.
UNITED STATES STEEL CORPORATION



Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas of Fayette County, March T., 1967, No. 388, in case of Steve Tretinik v. United States Steel Corporation.

COUNSEL

Joseph M. George, for appellant.

Robert M. Keener, with him Sayers, King & Keener, for appellee.

Wright, P. J., Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, Hoffman, Spaulding, and Cercone, JJ. Opinion by Montgomery, J.

Author: Montgomery

[ 215 Pa. Super. Page 544]

In this workmen's compensation case, claimant-appellant, Steve Tretinik, sustained a compensable injury on November 12, 1959, while employed by employer-appellee, United States Steel Corporation; but he continued to work without impairment of earnings until December 12, 1959, when he first consulted a doctor, who diagnosed his injuries as contusions of both wrists, right shoulder, and knees. Thereafter he returned to his regular work and continued to perform his regular duties until June 6, 1960, when he was given lighter duties. On July 29, 1960, he was seen by Dr. Maher, who referred him to Dr. J. C. Pickett. Dr. Pickett saw him first on May 5, 1961, and diagnosed the condition in his hip as degenerative arthritis. He had been treated by Dr. Maher for arthritis in his arms and shoulder since July of 1959, which was prior to the accident. Claimant returned to work on August 8, 1960, and continued to work until March 17, 1961, when he was laid off.

On October 25, 1960, an agreement was consummated between the claimant and his employer, under which claimant was awarded $37.50 per week for total disability resulting from the accident. The agreement covered the periods, from July 29, 1960, to and including August 7, 1960; from August 12, 1960, to and including August 14, 1960; and from and indefinitely after August 19, 1960.

On February 1, 1961, a supplemental agreement was signed, reciting that the claimant had returned to work on January 23, 1961, at $119.80 per week, whereas the average rate at the time of his injury had been $121 per week, and the supplemental agreement provided that he would be paid for partial disability at the rate of 80 cents per week for an indefinite number of weeks, commencing January 23, 1961.

[ 215 Pa. Super. Page 545]

On August 3, 1961, claimant filed a petition to review his existing agreement, claiming a recurrence of his disability, which was referred to Referee Edward S. Stiteler, who found as follows:

"Third: On June 16, 1965, Dr. J. C. Pickett, an orthopedist, was called in behalf of the claimant and stated after first seeing the claimant on May 5, 1961 and after admitting him to the hospital, the only positive diagnosis he had was that of pathological diagnosis on the material removed from claimant's left hip in which the diagnosis was degenerative arthritis of the cartilage of the hip joint itself; further, that claimant was employable for more or less sedentary types of work.

"Fourth: After reviewing all testimony of record, your Referee is of the opinion and finds as a fact that the difficulties suffered by the claimant are not related to the injury of November 12, 1959."

The Workmen's Compensation Board adopted the findings of the referee and affirmed the action of the referee in dismissing the petition for review. The lower court affirmed the ...


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