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CURTIS M. BUCHAN AND WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD v. ROYAL PIZZA HOUSE (01/07/77)

decided: January 7, 1977.

CURTIS M. BUCHAN AND WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD
v.
ROYAL PIZZA HOUSE, INC. AND OLD REPUBLIC COMPANIES, APPELLANTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Curtis M. Buchan v. Royal Pizza House, Inc., No. A-69735.

COUNSEL

George H. Thompson, with him Hirsch, Weise & Tillman, for appellants.

James W. Bruce, with him William F. Caruthers, Caruthers & Bruce, and James N. Diefenderfer, for appellees.

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

Author: Mencer

[ 28 Pa. Commw. Page 122]

Curtis M. Buchan (claimant) was severely injured on September 21, 1972 when he was involved in a one-car automobile accident. As a result of the accident, his legs and lower arms are permanently and completely paralyzed. The sole question presented in this appeal is whether claimant's injuries occurred "in the course of his employment," pursuant to Section 301(c) of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act,*fn1 which at all times relevant to this appeal provided, in pertinent part:

The terms 'injury' and 'personal injury,' as used in this act, shall be construed to mean an injury to an employe, regardless of his previous physical condition, arising in the course of his employment and related thereto, and such disease or infection as naturally results from the injury or is aggravated, reactivated or accelerated

[ 28 Pa. Commw. Page 123]

    by the injury; and wherever death is mentioned as a cause for compensation under this act, it shall mean only death resulting from such injury and its resultant effects, and occurring within three hundred weeks after the injury. The term 'injury arising in the course of his employment,' as used in this article, shall not include an injury caused by an act of a third person intended to injure the employe because of reasons personal to him, and not directed against him as an employe or because of his employment; but shall include all other injuries sustained while the employe is actually engaged in the furtherance of the business or affairs of the employer, whether upon the employer's premises or elsewhere. . . . (Emphasis added.)

The referee denied compensation benefits, concluding that the claimant was not in the course of his employment at the time the injury occurred. The Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) vacated two of the referee's findings of fact and the conclusion of law based on them. The Board, after making its own findings,*fn2 reversed the referee's determination of ineligibility and remanded for a computation of benefits.

Royal Pizza House, Inc. (Royal Pizza) and Old Republic Companies (appellants) assert that the Board improperly exercised its review and urge us to reinstate the determination of the referee. Since we find that the referee failed to make necessary findings of fact on a crucial issue, we must remand, not for a computation of benefits but for additional findings of fact.

[ 28 Pa. Commw. Page 124]

The referee made the following statements labeled ...


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