Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in case of In Re: Appeal of Raymond Hays, No. 3611 April Term, 1972.
John M. McNally, Jr., First Deputy City Solicitor, with him James M. Penny, Jr., Assistant City Solicitor, Nicholas Panarella, 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 Blatt.
[ 13 Pa. Commw. Page 623]
This case is the first in a group of appeals, all filed in this Court by former police employees of the City of Philadelphia (City) and all claiming benefits under Regulation 32 of the Philadelphia Civil Service Commission (Commission). All were initially refused by the appointing authority and then by the Commission, but, on appeal to the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, all were either reversed with judgment entered for the claimant or remanded to the Commission for further hearing.
Regulation 32 was adopted by the Commission to provide benefits for disabled uniformed and non-uniformed employees of the City. Upon its adoption, it superseded any contrary statewide legislation insofar as any such legislation applied to City employees,*fn1 but, as the City points out, this regulation did not supersede the right of employees to seek workmen's compensation benefits, if they so desire. As a matter of fact, Section 32.09 of the regulation specifically makes provision for situations where disabled employees are receiving workmen's compensation benefits in addition to Regulation 32 benefits.
More pertinent to the issue at hand, Section 32.022 of the regulation defines "disability" as: "[A] physical or mental condition caused by accident or occupational disease, including heart and lung ailments, which is
[ 13 Pa. Commw. Page 624]
service-connected and prevents an employee from performing his regular duties. Disability does not include any condition which is self-inflicted or caused by another person for reasons personal to the employee and not because of his employment." (Emphasis added.)
Regulation 32 and Section 7-201 of the City Home Rule Charter, 351 Pa. Code § 7.7-201, provide that decisions of the Commission shall be final, but this Court has determined that the appeal provisions of the Local Agency Law*fn2 are applicable to final orders of the Commission, and that they are, therefore, appealable to the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County. Harrington v. Philadelphia Civil Service Commission, 4 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 580, 287 A.2d 912 (1972).
Section 8 of the Local Agency Law, 53 P.S. § 11308, which is applicable herein, provides the procedure for such appeals to the lower court as follows:
"(a) In the event a full and complete record of the proceedings before the local agency was not made, the court may hear the appeal de novo, or may remand the proceedings to local agency for the purpose of making a full and complete record or for ...