Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Ruby L. Mapp v. City of Philadelphia, No. A-44587.
Carl M. Mazzocone, with him Mazzocone & Quinn, for appellant.
Nicholas Panarella, Jr., Assistant City Solicitor, with him James M. Penny, Jr., Assistant City Solicitor, John Mattioni, Deputy City Solicitor, and Martin Weinberg, City Solicitor, for appellee.
Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. President Judge Bowman did not participate. Opinion by Judge Mencer.
This workmen's compensation case has a history of more than 18 years. We approach this appeal with the sincere hope that our resolution of the matter will hasten rather than further prolong the inevitable, although so far elusive, termination of the case.
The factual background was succinctly set forth by Judge Hoffman, writing for the Superior Court in Mapp v. Philadelphia, 215 Pa. Superior Ct. 101, 102-03, 257 A.2d 306, 307 (1969): "Appellant, Ruby Mapp, then twenty-four years old, joined the Philadelphia police force on April 25, 1955, having been certified as fit for duty by the Police Department medical examiner. After a period of training lasting two to three weeks which was devoted to orientation procedures in the police department, appellant volunteered to act as an undercover agent seeking evidence of the narcotics trade. This was the first instance that a woman was used by the police department for undercover work. Appellant assumed the identity of a narcotics user and prostitute and worked as a part-time waitress. For the next five months she was required to go without food or sleep on occasion and work long hours. Finally, on October 18-19, 1955, based in part on information
which appellant had furnished, the Philadelphia police staged the largest narcotics raid in Philadelphia history. Approximately 200 suspects were arrested, booked and held for preliminary hearings. For the thirty-six hour period during which the raid took place and the suspects were held for preliminary hearings, appellant, in addition to her physical exertion, went without sleep. During that time she identified suspects when they were arrested and testified at their preliminary hearings the next morning. Ten days later, appellant, during a ceremony in which she received an award of commendation from the Mayor of Philadelphia for her extraordinary efforts, collapsed. She was taken from the Mayor's Reception Room to the Philadelphia General Hospital, where she was diagnosed as suffering from gastro-intestinal difficulties and confined for five days. Subsequently, appellant suffered a marked psycho-neurotic reaction."
The procedural background is like a fabric that has woven into it an unending thread. Ruby L. Mapp (claimant) filed a claim seeking an award under The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act*fn1 for disability suffered by her as a result of excessive stress and strain causing marked physical and mental deterioration and psychoneurotic reaction as a result of an accident sustained on or about October 19, 1955. The workmen's compensation referee found in favor of the claimant, deciding that she had been subjected to a combination of unusual exertion, stress and strain, causing overexertion and marked psychoneurotic reaction.
The City of Philadelphia (City) filed an appeal*fn2 from the referee's award, raising the single question
of whether claimant's claim was barred by the Statute of Limitations.*fn3 The Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board), sua sponte, reviewed issues which had not been questioned by the City, namely, claimant's accident and disability, and found claimant had not suffered an accident within the meaning of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act. On appeal from this ...