Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Lynne M. Miller v. New Standard Corporation and Insurance Company of North America, Insurance Carrier, No. A-65699.
Christopher S. Underhill, with him Windolph, Burkholder & Hartman, for appellants.
Carl G. Herr, with him Louise G. Herr, for appellees.
Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.
The question which we are called upon to resolve in this Workmen's Compensation case is whether the claimant is entitled to compensation benefits as a result of an accident*fn1 under the unusual pathological result doctrine.
Claimant was employed as a punch press operator for approximately one year prior to October 29, 1971. On that date, claimant was lifting metal discs from a shoulder height bin onto a punch press machine when she experienced a sharp pain in her back. This was in conformity with her normal function in the usual way. She attempted to continue but the pain increased and
was accompanied by dizziness, so she informed her employer of the incident and went home. The injury was diagnosed as an acute low back strain with increased paraspinal muscular tonus which, translated into layman's terms, is an acute muscle spasm of the lower back. Claimant had not experienced any problem with her back prior to that time.
After hearing, the Referee found that claimant had suffered an accident in the nature of an unusual pathological result and that claimant was totally disabled. The findings and award were affirmed by the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board since the Board felt that the evidence supported the Referee's finding that an accident occurred and the injuries were caused by that event. The employer appeals to us.
The scope of this Court's review in Workmen's Compensation cases, when the claimant has been victorious below, is limited to questions of law and a determination as to whether there is substantial evidence to support the findings and conclusions of the Board. United States Steel v. Simon, 9 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 281, 305 A.2d 913 (1973). Further, it is the function of the fact finder and not of this Court to determine questions of credibility and the weight to be given evidence, and the party victorious below is to be given the benefit of the most favorable inference deducible from the evidence. United States Steel v. Simon, 9 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 281, 305 A.2d 913 (1973); Sabatini v. Affiliated Food Distrbutors, Inc., 6 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 470, 295 A.2d 845 (1972). Under this scope of review we must affirm the decision of the Board.
Appellant's sole contention is that the unusual pathological result doctrine cannot be applied unless claimant can prove that the accident resulted in a fracture of the bone structure or a tear or rupture of the ...