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REDMAN INDUSTRIES v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (03/23/79)

decided: March 23, 1979.

REDMAN INDUSTRIES, INC. AND LIBERTY MUTUAL INSURANCE CO., PETITIONERS
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD AND SAMUEL H. MERTZ, RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Samuel H. Mertz v. Redman Industries, Inc., No. A-73092.

COUNSEL

John A. Fitzpatrick, with him Joseph R. Thompson, for petitioners.

John F. Pyfer, Jr., with him Allison & Pyfer, for respondents.

Judges Rogers, DiSalle and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 41 Pa. Commw. Page 366]

This is an appeal from an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board), affirming the referee's decision to award compensation to Samuel H. Mertz (Claimant) and modifying that award to give credit for compensation previously paid. In sustaining the referee's decision, the Board also awarded 10 percent per annum interest for unpaid compensation and counsel fees in the amount of 20 percent of the compensation owed.

Claimant sustained an injury to his left eye when a staple flew into it while he was employed by and working for Redman Industries, Inc. (Employer). A notice of compensation was filed pursuant to which Claimant was reimbursed for medical expenses and paid compensation for nine and three-sevenths (9-3/7) weeks.

[ 41 Pa. Commw. Page 367]

On October 21, 1974, Claimant filed a claim petition alleging a specific loss of use of his left eye. Employer denied Claimant's allegations, but offered no testimony at either of the two hearings. The referee reviewed the evidence and ruled that Claimant had established a loss of his left eye pursuant to Section 306(c)(7) of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act (Law), Act of June 2, 1915, P.L. 736, as Page 367} amended, 77 P.S. § 513(7),*fn1 and awarded compensation to that section and Section 306(c)(25) of the Law, 77 P.S. § 513(25).*fn2 In addition, the referee awarded interest at the statutory rate of 10 percent per annum and counsel fees in the amount of 20 percent of the award as provided by Section 440 of the Law, 77 P.S. § 996.*fn3 The Board affirmed but gave credit for the

[ 41 Pa. Commw. Page 368]

    weeks already compensated. It is from this decision that Employer and his insurance company, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company (collectively Appellants) now appeal.

Appellants limited their appeal to this Court to the contention that the Board committed errors of law in concluding that their contest was unreasonable, in awarding attorney's fees and in assessing the attorney's fees ...


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