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CITY PHILADELPHIA v. WILLIAM H. LYNCH (05/29/74)

decided: May 29, 1974.

CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, APPELLANT,
v.
WILLIAM H. LYNCH, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in case of In Re: Appeal of William H. Lynch, No. 3318 June Term, 1972.

COUNSEL

John M. McNally, Jr., First Deputy City Solicitor, with him Nicholas Panarella, Jr., Assistant City Solicitor, James M. Penny, Jr., Assistant City Solicitor, John Mattioni, Deputy City Solicitor, and Martin Weinberg, City Solicitor, for appellant.

Yale B. Bernstein, with him Stanley Bashman and Bashman, Wertheimer, Kane, Manfredi & Byrne, for appellee.

Judges Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr. and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Kramer.

Author: Kramer

[ 13 Pa. Commw. Page 618]

This is an appeal by the City of Philadelphia (appellant) from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County remanding the appeal of William H. Lynch (claimant-appellee) to the Philadelphia Civil Service Commission (Commission).*fn1

[ 13 Pa. Commw. Page 619]

Claimant-appellee has sustained six service-connected injuries to his back and/or neck during his career as a policeman for appellant. The last of these was sustained on March 25, 1971, when his police vehicle was struck from the rear. On November 30, 1971, the Chief of the Municipal Dispensary determined that claimant-appellee was permanently and partially disabled; his disability was diagnosed as "cervical and lower back sprain with functional overlay." Claimant-appellee filed a claim for benefits under Regulation 32 of the Commission, alleging that the accident he suffered on March 25, 1971 was the cause of his permanent and partial disability. An administrative conference was held before the police department's Safety Officer; after which, the Safety Officer recommended that claimant-appellee's permanent and partial disability be determined to be non-service connected. The Police Commissioner agreed and denied claimant-appellee's claim.

Claimant-appellee appealed to the Commission, which denied his appeal because he failed to prove that his disability was service-connected by a fair preponderance of the evidence. In reaching its conclusion, the Commission found inter alia : "The last [injury] occurred on March 25, 1971 when a radio patrol car in which appellant was riding was struck from the rear.

" Since this incident appellant has not been able to perform active duty, although he was able to perform limited duty until the department determined his disability non-service-connected.

"The permanent and partial disability diagnosis was based upon the opinions of physicians at Philadelphia General Hospital, particularly David Cottrell, M.D., an orthopedic consultant for the Compensation Clinic.

"Appellant submitted reports from a team of physicians, none of which indicate the ...


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