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AMBROSIA COAL & CONSTRUCTION CO. AND OLD REPUBLIC COMPANIES v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (05/09/79)

decided: May 9, 1979.

AMBROSIA COAL & CONSTRUCTION CO. AND OLD REPUBLIC COMPANIES, PETITIONERS
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD AND NORMAN R. ADAMS, RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Norman R. Adams v. Ambrosia Coal & Construction Co., No. A-74510.

COUNSEL

George H. Thompson, with him Hirsch, Weise & Tillman, for petitioners.

Francis X. Caiazza, with him Caiazza & Lamancusa, for respondents.

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

Author: Blatt

[ 42 Pa. Commw. Page 512]

The Ambrosia Coal & Construction Company (employer) and its insurer, the Old Republic Companies, have appealed to this Court from an order of the

[ 42 Pa. Commw. Page 513]

Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board). The Board affirmed a referee's decision granting a modification petition filed by Norman R. Adams seeking reinstatement of a compensation agreement for payment of total disability benefits.*fn1

The claimant's petition asked to modify a supplemental agreement which he had previously signed and which altered an original agreement by reducing his stated disability from total to 50 percent. The referee found that the supplemental agreement was incorrect in that the claimant at the time he signed it was then and remained totally disabled and that

Claimant executed the supplemental agreement under a misunderstanding that if he did not sign it, he would not get his checks and the claimant was informed by the adjustor for the defendant carrier, in addition, that it would be more beneficial to him as he would get smaller checks but would get them for a much longer period of time.

These findings are supported by the testimony of the claimant's physician*fn2 as well as of the claimant and of his wife.*fn3 The employer argues, however, that because

[ 42 Pa. Commw. Page 514]

    there is no evidence that the claimant's physical condition deteriorated after the supplemental agreement was executed, the referee had no authority to ...


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