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YELLOW CAB COMPANY v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (08/28/78)

decided: August 28, 1978.

YELLOW CAB COMPANY, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD AND ROLAND SISCO, RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Roland Sisco v. Yellow Cab Company, Nos. A-70803 and A-72325.

COUNSEL

Charles W. Boohar, with him, of counsel, Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis, for appellant.

John C. Capek, with him Manchel, Lundy & Lessin, and James N. Diefenderfer, for appellees.

Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer and Rogers, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.

Author: Mencer

[ 37 Pa. Commw. Page 338]

Yellow Cab Company appeals from a decision of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) awarding Roland Sisco (claimant) compensation for a total disability allegedly resulting from an automobile accident. We remand for a computation of benefits based on a partial disability.

Claimant was employed by Yellow Cab as a driver. On July 24, 1972, while in the course of his employment, claimant was struck from behind by another vehicle and was thereupon thrown backward and forward, striking his head against the windshield. Almost

[ 37 Pa. Commw. Page 339]

    immediately, claimant began to experience severe headaches and dizziness. On August 17, 1972, claimant consulted his physician, who diagnosed these symptoms as those of a whiplash injury. On August 25, 1972, claimant "blacked out" at his home and was rushed to the hospital, where Dr. Howard Richter, a neurosurgeon, determined that claimant was suffering from a right parietal subdural hematoma, chronic type. (A hematoma is defined as a "localized mass of . . . blood that is confined within an organ or tissue, a space, or a potential space. . . ." Stedman's Medical Dictionary 559 (22d ed. 1972).)

On August 29, 1972, claimant was taken into surgery where two holes were made in his cranium to drain the hematoma. Claimant's recovery was generally good, but he continued to experience periodic dizziness and occasional lapses of memory. He was therefore advised by Dr. Richter not to resume his job as a cab driver. Claimant has followed this advice and has not attempted to secure any other type of employment.

Hearings on claimant's claim petition were held before a referee. Medical evidence consisted of hospital reports, two letters from Dr. Richter to claimant's attorney, and the deposition of a Dr. Robert A. Groff, neurosurgeon who had examined the claimant at the request of Yellow Cab. It was stipulated by the parties that, if called to testify in person, Drs. Richter and Groff would testify in accordance with the letters and the deposition. Other evidence received by the referee included the testimony of the claimant and the testimony of Mr. Paul Stevens, the owner of a private employment agency, concerning the availability of jobs to one with the claimant's qualifications. At the close of the evidence, the referee found that claimant was totally disabled as a result of the accident on July 24, 1972. This finding

[ 37 Pa. Commw. Page 340]

    was affirmed by the Board and, after a remand to the referee on an issue not material ...


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