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CITY PHILADELPHIA v. JAMES A. BOOKER (05/29/74)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: May 29, 1974.

CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, APPELLANT,
v.
JAMES A. BOOKER, APPELLEE

Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in case of In Re: Appeal of James A. Booker, No. 3317 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 Wilkinson.

Author: Wilkinson

[ 13 Pa. Commw. Page 589]

Claimant-appellee has been involved in two motor vehicle accidents while on duty as a policeman in the City of Philadelphia, appellant. The first accident, on January 10, 1968, resulted in neck and back injuries to claimant-appellee who resumed active duty nine weeks later. The second accident, on July 13, 1970, resulted in multiple, especially lower back, injuries to claimant-appellee who has not resumed active duty since that date.

After an administrative conference before the Police Department's Safety Officer who heard the testimony of claimant-appellee and reviewed medical reports which diagnosed claimant-appellee's disability as "functional",*fn1 it was determined that claimant-appellee's disability was non-service connected. The Police Commissioner agreed and an appeal was taken to the Philadelphia Civil Service Commission. The parties stipulated to the empaneling of an impartial medical board. The appellants empaneled a medical board comprised

[ 13 Pa. Commw. Page 59032]

of the Philadelphia Civil Service Commission defines disability to include either "a physical or mental condition." Thus the remand here to have an impartial medical board consider claimant-appellee's mental condition would not seem to be a clear error of law.

It must be emphasized that we are not here deciding that the remand was proper. That issue can be raised in later proceedings. We simply hold that we can find no circumstances which would cause us to treat this case as an exception to the rule that the order of a lower court remanding a case is interlocutory and an appeal therefrom is premature.

Accordingly, this appeal is dismissed and the order of the lower court is affirmed.

Disposition

Affirmed.


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