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FRANK SANTORE v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (08/28/78)

decided: August 28, 1978.

FRANK SANTORE, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD, STATE WORKMEN'S INSURANCE FUND, AND COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE, BUREAU OF TAXES FOR EDUCATION, RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Frank Santore v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Revenue, No. A-71921.

COUNSEL

Lawrence Solomon, for petitioner.

Patrick J. Melloy, with him John E. O'Connor, Assistant Attorney General, for respondent.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Blatt and DiSalle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.

Author: Blatt

[ 37 Pa. Commw. Page 352]

Frank Santore (claimant) appeals here from an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) which affirmed a referee's decision terminating payment of compensation benefits to him for total disability.

The claimant was employed as an investigator by the Commonwealth Department of Revenue (Department). In 1971, he slipped and fell on an icy sidewalk during the course of his employment and sustained injuries. He and the Department entered into an agreement for compensation pursuant to which he was paid $60.00 a week. In 1973, the Department filed a petition to modify the agreement, alleging that the claimant's disability had decreased. After a hearing, the referee treated the petition as a petition to terminate and terminated the claimant's benefits, finding that he was no longer disabled because of injuries suffered in 1971. Upon appeal, the Board remanded the case to the referee for reconsideration of the

[ 37 Pa. Commw. Page 353]

    medical testimony,*fn1 and the referee then reconsidered the evidence and again ordered the termination of benefits. The Board on appeal modified the referee's determination so as to indicate another day as the date on which the claimant's disability terminated and affirmed the termination of compensation. This appeal followed.

Section 427 of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act,*fn2 77 P.S. § 876.1, provides that this Court's scope of review in workmen's compensation appeals is that defined in Section 44 of the Administrative Agency Law,*fn3 71 P.S. § 1710.44, and so limits us to a determination as to whether or not an error of law was committed, constitutional rights were violated, or findings of fact necessary for the adjudication are unsupported by substantial evidence. The claimant argues here that the referee's findings are unsupported by substantial evidence.

Specifically, he disputes these findings:

The weight of credible medical evidence before the Referee through the testimony of Defendant's and Claimant's testifying physicians, when considered in connection with Claimant's testimony, leads to a factual conclusion that Claimant's disability ceased. . . . The Referee will consequently amend the pleadings in this case to conform to the evidence ...


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