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MONDAY SHANNON AND WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD v. SOUTHWARK METAL MANUFACTURING CO. (12/10/76)

decided: December 10, 1976.

MONDAY SHANNON AND WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD
v.
SOUTHWARK METAL MANUFACTURING CO., AND ROCKWOOD INSURANCE CO. SOUTHWARK METAL MFG. CO. AND ROCKWOOD INSURANCE COMPANY, APPELLANTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Monday Shannon v. Southwark Metal Mfg. Co., No. A-70624.

COUNSEL

Leonard S. Lipson, with him Alfred Sarowitz, for appellants.

Edwin P. Smith, for appellee.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Mencer and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.

Author: Blatt

[ 27 Pa. Commw. Page 464]

Monday Shannon (claimant) was employed by the Southwark Metal Manufacturing Co. (employer) as a general laborer. Among the tasks assigned to him was the packing of large metal containers of air conditioner materials into boxes. On May 16, 1973, while he was removing some of these metal containers from a stack, one of them fell and struck the claimant in his left eye. He reported the accident and was taken to a doctor the next day at the employer's direction.

The examining physician, an internist, recorded a history of blunt trauma to the left eye and noted some physical evidence of the injury about the eye. He then referred the claimant to an associate, Dr. Joseph Hallett, an ophthalmologist. Dr. Hallet saw the claimant on May 22, 1973, and diagnosed a dislocated cataract in the left eye. He also noted the presence of a congenital cataract in the right eye. Dr. Hallett examined and treated the claimant on several other occasions

[ 27 Pa. Commw. Page 465]

    through September 5, 1974, and at that time vision in the left eye had deteriorated to the point where the claimant was considered legally blind in that eye.

A claim petition was filed pursuant to The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act*fn1 on February 15, 1974. The employer filed an answer on March 11, 1974, denying all of the material allegations of the petition. The referee took testimony at three hearings. Dr. Hallett testified at two of the hearings, once as the claimant's witness and once as the employer's witness. On July 17, 1975, the referee awarded the claimant compensation for specific loss of the left eye. The Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board), without taking additional evidence, affirmed that portion of the referee's decision awarding compensation for the specific loss of the claimant's eye. This appeal followed.

Our scope of review in a workmen's compensation case, where the party with the burden of proof prevailed below and the Board took no additional evidence, is limited to a determination of whether or not constitutional rights were violated, an error of law was committed or a necessary finding of fact of the referee was unsupported by substantial evidence, leaving questions of evidentiary weight and credibility to the referee. Mikalonis v. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board, 25 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 166, 361 A.2d 483 (1976); Leipziger v. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board, 12 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 417, 315 A.2d 883 (1974). The appellant here argues only that the award for compensation for specific loss of the claimant's left eye was not based on competent medical testimony.

It is a well established rule of law that where there is no obvious causal ...


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