Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Laverne G. Weidner v. Firestone Tire & Rubber Company.
S. Harry Galfand, with him Joseph Lurie and Galfand, Berger, Senesky, Lurie & March, for appellant.
John G. Jenemann, with him Joseph R. Thompson and James N. Diefenderfer, for appellees.
Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer and Rogers, sitting as a panel of three. President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Rogers.
[ 16 Pa. Commw. Page 562]
The sole issue in this claimant's appeal in a workmen's compensation case is whether the compensation authorities erred in failing to award him attorney's fees.
The claimant sustained an injury to the cornea of his right eye in the course of his employment by Firestone Tire & Rubber Company. He spent eight or nine
[ 16 Pa. Commw. Page 563]
days in the hospital where surgery was performed on his eye. He eventually returned to his former employment without loss of wages; he remained, however, under his physician's care, including periodic examination for cataract of the injured eye and for possible prescription of eyeglasses. The vision in the right eye remains impaired under certain conditions of light.
After the claimant returned to work a representative of the employer, apparently on instructions from the employer's insurance carrier, requested the claimant to execute a final receipt. The claimant declined.
The instant proceedings were commenced by the employer's filing of a petition for termination. The claimant consulted counsel and filed an answer claiming a residual disability and noting the fact that he was still receiving medical attention.*fn1
The referee's hearing was conducted in Reading and the claimant appeared with his counsel, a Philadelphia practitioner. After a short colloquy*fn2 among counsel and the referee, the referee suggested a suspension to which counsel for both parties agreed. In response either to claimant's counsel's demand for an award of medical bills or his demand for an award of attorney's fees, the carrier's counsel insisted that evidence be taken on the issue of claimant's ...