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WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA AND RHODI CHANDLER v. POWER SYSTEMS DIVISION (07/30/75)

decided: July 30, 1975.

WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA AND RHODI CHANDLER
v.
POWER SYSTEMS DIVISION, MCGRAW EDISON, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Rhodi Chandler v. Power Systems Division, McGraw Edison, No. A-63517.

COUNSEL

Richard G. Jewell, with him Wayman, Irvin, Trushel & McAuley, for appellant.

Leonard P. Kane, Jr., with him Brandt, McManus, Brandt and Malone, and James N. Diefenderfer, for appellees.

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

Author: Kramer

[ 20 Pa. Commw. Page 549]

This is an appeal by Power Systems Division, McGraw Edison, from a decision of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board which affirmed a referee's decision awarding compensation to Rhodi Chandler. The issue is whether there is substantial evidence in the record to support the referee's adjudication. We conclude there is and, therefore, affirm.

Chandler filed his claim petition on November 25, 1968, alleging that he had injured his back in a work-related accident on July 10, 1968. Following a series of hearings, a referee denied compensation in a decision dated September 21, 1970. The referee found that Chandler "failed to introduce competent medical evidence" to show a casual connection between the accidental injury and his subsequent disability. Chandler appealed from the referee's decision to the Board and, in a decision

[ 20 Pa. Commw. Page 550]

    dated March 17, 1971, the Board vacated the referee's determination and remanded the case to a referee to give Chandler "an opportunity to present medical evidence" and to allow Power Systems to present additional evidence. Upon remand, an extensive series of hearings was conducted before a second referee.*fn1 Finally, on January 17, 1974, the referee filed a decision, which contained the following pertinent findings of fact:

"NINTH: That on July 10, 1968, while in the regular course of his employment, the claimant was pulling and lifting twenty (20) foot radiators weighing five hundred (500) pounds in order to position them for hooking up to a crane.

"TENTH: That while the claimant and his helper were pulling and lifting one of the radiators, due to a tremendous overhang of the radiator off the skid, the weight shifted to the claimant pulling him down and causing his knees to buckle causing severe pain to his lower back.

"ELEVENTH: That the claimant reported the injury immediately and went to the plant nurse who treated him with heat therapy and pain pills. Although in pain and under the care of the plant physician, he continued to work until September 3, 1968, when he was forced to quit work because of severe back pain radiating down into his legs.

"TWELFTH: That the claimant was totally disabled as a result of his July 10, 1968 injuries from September 4, 1968 to August 11, 1969 inclusive, and from November 26, 1971 to the present.

"THIRTEENTH: That the claimant was released for light duty work by Doctor Inghram and returned to work as a ...


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