Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Joseph F. Faulkner v. Pittsburgh Outdoor Advertising Co., No. A-72437.
James R. Miller, with him Noble R. Zuschlag, and Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote, for petitioner.
Leonard P. Kane, Jr., with him Fried, Kane & Walters, and James N. Diefenderfer, for respondents.
Judges Mencer, DiSalle and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.
[ 39 Pa. Commw. Page 339]
This is an appeal from an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) affirming the referee's decision after remand which held the Valley Forge Insurance Company (Valley) and/or Pittsburgh Outdoor Advertising Company (Petitioner) responsible for benefits due Claimant under the provisions of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act (Act), Act of June 2, 1915, P.L. 736, as amended, 77 P.S. § 1 et seq.
Joseph F. Faulkner (Claimant) was accidentally injured on April 15, 1970, while in Petitioner's employ. In that accident, Claimant fell from the top of a truck while posting an advertisement at a billboard site and landed feet first on the concrete. Claimant sustained bilateral fracture of the os calsis (both heels). Petitioner's insurance carrier at that time was Pennsylvania Manufacturer's Association Insurance Company (Manufacturer's). Claimant executed an agreement for compensation with Manufacturer's and received benefits from that insurance carrier until April 28, 1972, when Claimant returned to work without loss of earning power.
On August 18, 1972, Claimant sustained another work-related injury when he tripped and fell onto a platform, thereby suffering a laceration of the right leg and an abrasion of the right knee. These injuries resulted in Claimant's receiving benefits from Valley
[ 39 Pa. Commw. Page 340]
which was Petitioner's insurance carrier as of that date.
Claimant returned to work on April 9, 1973, without loss of earning power and executed a final receipt with Valley on April 16, 1973. Approximately one week after returning to work, Claimant suffered yet another work-related injury, a compression fracture of the T-6 vertebra. Petitioner's insurance carrier on the date of that accident was also Valley. Claimant ceased working entirely on May 15, 1973, and has not returned.
On September 17, 1973, Claimant filed a claim petition on the accident which occurred April 17, 1973, a petition to set aside the final receipt regarding the 1972 accident and a modification petition regarding the 1970 accident. The referee granted all three petitions and assessed compensation on a pro-rata basis against both insurance carriers because he concluded that all three accidents contributed to Claimant's current total disability.
Both insurance carriers and the Petitioner appealed the referee's decision to the Board, whereupon the Board remanded the referee's decision for further findings and a determination of which one of the insurers was liable. Thereafter, the referee, without any additional evidence, held that the Claimant became totally disabled on May 16, 1973, as the result of injuries he sustained on April 17, 1973. Since Valley was the insurance carrier on that date, he directed that benefits due the ...