Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Richard J. Romanski v. Consolidated Molded Products, No. A-71663.
Charles F. Wilson, for petitioner.
John C. Mascelli, with him Joseph A. Murphy, John R. Lenahan, Jr., Lenahan, Dempsey & Murphy, and James N. Diefenderfer, for respondents.
Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Rogers and DiSalle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge DiSalle.
[ 33 Pa. Commw. Page 274]
This case is before us upon a petition for review of an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board which affirmed a referee's decision granting a petition to terminate disability benefits to Richard J. Romanski (Petitioner).
Petitioner was employed as a master mechanic by Consolidated Molded Products (Consolidated). On August 28, 1975, Petitioner was struck on the head by a thirty pound hydraulic jack which fell a distance of approximately eight to twelve feet. From August 28, 1975 to December 4, 1975, Petitioner received compensation benefits for the resultant injury and disability. On December 15, 1975, the employer and its insurer filed a petition to terminate alleging that Petitioner's disability had ceased as of November 28, 1975. After a hearing, the petition to terminate was granted.
The sole issue before us is whether the medical testimony offered by the employer is substantial evidence so as to support the decision of the compensation authorities.*fn1
In proceedings to terminate compensation benefits the employer has the burden of proving that the claimant's
[ 33 Pa. Commw. Page 275]
disability has ceased.*fn2 Consolidated produced the testimony of Dr. George Shibley, Petitioner's treating physician, in order to meet that burden. It was Dr. Shibley's opinion, based upon tests conducted by himself and those conducted by a neurosurgeon, that Petitioner's disability had completely ceased as of November 28, 1975.
Petitioner produced no medical testimony in rebuttal. He did testify on his own behalf that he continued to experience symptoms, such as weakness, headache, nausea and vertigo.
Petitioner points to the fact that Dr. Shibley had relied in part upon Petitioner's subjective complaints in reaching the conclusion that he was disabled from August 28 to November 28. Adding this to Shibley's admission on cross-examination that the symptoms complained of could legitimately exist despite the failure of objective testing to reveal any physiological basis for them, Petitioner asserts that Shibley's testimony is so inconsistent and ...