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EMMA LOCASTRO v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (11/16/77)

decided: November 16, 1977.

EMMA LOCASTRO, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD AND GIMBEL BROS., RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Emma Locastro v. Gimbel Bros., Inc., No. A-69447.

COUNSEL

Thomas F. McDevitt, for petitioner.

Charles S. Katz, Jr., with him Swartz, Campbell & Detweiler, and James N. Diefenderfer, for respondents.

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

Author: Bowman

[ 32 Pa. Commw. Page 391]

This is an appeal by Emma Locastro (Claimant) from an adverse decision of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) sustaining the referee's termination of Claimant's benefits.

[ 32 Pa. Commw. Page 392]

The Claimant suffered an injury during the course of her employment with Gimbel Brothers, Inc., on September 21, 1972. Claimant was paid total disability benefits pursuant to her claim from September 22 through November 30, 1972. The diagnosed injury as set forth in the Notice of Compensation Payable was lumbosacral strain and contusion of the head.

During Claimant's period of disability, she was treated by Stephen A. Christides, M.D., a Board-certified specialist in Orthopedic surgery, and by Frank Burstein, M.D., a Board-certified specialist in family medicine.

On November 24, 1972, the employer filed a petition for termination based on an affidavit of Dr. Christides that Claimant had fully recovered and was able to return to work.

At the hearings on the employer's termination petition both the Claimant and the family physician testified that her disability was still present. Dr. Christides, on the other hand, testified unequivocally that the Claimant no longer suffered from any disability as a result of her accident. The testimony is clear that both physicians were treating Claimant simultaneously.

Upon consideration of this testimony, the referee's determination was to terminate Claimant's benefits as of November 20, 1972.

Claimant appealed the referee's order. The Board vacated the referee's order and remanded the case to the referee to hear the testimony of an impartial physician appointed by the Board. The employer thereupon filed a Petition for Rehearing. Upon rehearing, the Board ...


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