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MILTON FLEXER AND UNITED NATIONAL INSURANCE COMPANY v. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD AND RONALD E. WILSON (03/22/74)

decided: March 22, 1974.

MILTON FLEXER AND UNITED NATIONAL INSURANCE COMPANY, INSURANCE CARRIER, APPELLANTS,
v.
WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD AND RONALD E. WILSON, AND INTERFAITH INTER-RACIAL COUNCIL OF THE CLERGY AND ROCKWOOD INSURANCE CO., INSURANCE CARRIER, APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Ronald E. Wilson v. Milton Flexer and Interfaith Inter-Racial Council of the Clergy, No. A-66757.

COUNSEL

Paul J. Senesky, with him, of counsel, Galfand, Berger, Senesky, Lurie & March, for appellants.

Norman Shigon, for appellee, Wilson.

Alfred Sarowitz, for remaining appellees.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer and Rogers, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers.

Author: Rogers

[ 12 Pa. Commw. Page 406]

This is an appeal by Milton Flexer, an employer, from an adjudication of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board, affirming a referee's award of benefits for total disability to Ronald E. Wilson.

The appellant contends that the record does not support the compensation authorities' finding that Mr. Wilson's disability was the result of anything which happened while he was in the appellant's employ. Otherwise stated, the employer contends that the finding of facts underlying the award are not supported by competent evidence. This being the issue, we must first be reminded that the claimant, having prevailed below, is entitled to the benefit of the most favorable inferences deducible from the evidence and that questions of credibility are for the fact finder, not us. United States Steel Corporation v. Simon, 9 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 281, 305 A.2d 913 (1973). As we stated in Hershey Estates v. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board, 9 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 470, 472,

[ 12 Pa. Commw. Page 407308]

A.2d 637, 638 (1973), "It is our duty to examine the record and determine, not whether we would have made the same judgment as the authorities, but whether the evidence is such that a reasonable person, acting reasonably, might reach the same conclusion on the facts as did those authorities."

Claimant was employed by the appellant as a laborer assisting in the demolition of homes. On April 25, 1967,*fn1 while working on the second floor of a building, the claimant, due to the collapse of a brick wall, fell to the floor below. In describing the incident at the referee's hearing, the claimant testified that he fell on his head, was dazed and sustained a laceration of the leg. He states that at the hospital he complained of a severe headache as well as of the pain in his leg. He further testified that after the accident he suffered headaches almost daily and that he treated himself with a patent analgesic.

A qualified neurologist who commenced treatment of the claimant about one year after this incident stated that the claimant suffered from post traumatic encephalopathy manifested by recurrent grand mal seizures, nervousness, vertigo and headaches, and that this illness was caused by the head injury sustained in the fall on April 25, 1967.

The employer's case consisted of vigorous cross-examination of the claimant and of the claimant's physician, centering on the absence in hospital reports of references ...


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