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OLA MAE KRUG v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (07/31/73)

decided: July 31, 1973.

OLA MAE KRUG, APPELLANT,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Department of Public Welfare in case of In Re: Appeal of Ola Mae Krug, 417 Woodland Street, Ebensburg, Pa.

COUNSEL

Blair V. Pawlowski, with him D. Gerard Long, for appellant.

Barry A. Roth, Assistant Attorney General, with him Marx S. Leopold, Assistant Attorney General, and Israel Packel, Attorney General, for appellee.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.

Author: Crumlish

[ 9 Pa. Commw. Page 564]

This is an appeal from a decision of the Department of Public Welfare which denied Appellant disability benefits under the Act of December 8, 1959, P.L. 1718, No. 534, § 1, as amended, 61 P.S. § 951.

The Appellant Ola Mae Krug was employed at the Ebensburg State School and Hospital, a facility operated under the direction of the Department of Public Welfare, whose primary concern is the care of retarded children. She was employed as a "Child Care Aide II."

On July 26, 1971, as Appellant was helping a patient walk to the dining room, the patient threw herself at Appellant's lower legs, causing severe injuries and resultant total disability.

Appellant filed a timely claim for benefits under Act 534 which provides that any employee of a state mental hospital*fn1 ". . . who is injured during the course of his employment by an act of any inmate or any person confined in such institution . . . shall be paid, by the

[ 9 Pa. Commw. Page 565]

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, his full salary, until the disability arising therefrom no longer prevents his return as an employe of such department, board or institution at a salary equal to that earned by him at the time of his injury. . . ." (61 P.S. § 951)

The Ebensburg State School and Hospital found that Mrs. Krug's injury was not a qualifying "patient injury" and the Deputy Secretary of Management by the authority of the Secretary of Public Welfare affirmed the denial of Act 534 benefits. Notice of this decision was dated November 29, 1971.

Appellant promptly notified the Department of Public Welfare that she would contest the findings of the Department. After a hearing on July 18, 1972, the examiner denied Appellant benefits under Act 534 because the patient "was reacting in what was considered a normal tendency for her behavior pattern," and since "the patient has tendencies to go into temper tantrums, ...


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