No. 41 March Term, 1979, Appeal from the Opinion of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania at No. 2237 C.D. 1977, affirming the decision of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board at Nos. A-73313 and A-73255, affirming the decisions of Workmen's Compensation Referee at #202-12-7649
Thomas P. Geer, Pittsburgh, for appellant.
Raymond F. Keisling, Pittsburgh, for Allstate.
Eugene F. Scanlon, Jr., Pittsburgh, for CNA Ins. Co.
James Miller, Pittsburgh, for appellees.
Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Nix, Manderino, Larsen and Flaherty, JJ. Manderino, J., did not participate in the decision of this case.
The complete record in this case consists of the testimony of the claimant-appellant and her medical witness. The evidence established that Mrs. Halaski was employed by the Hilton Hotel in Pittsburgh for over sixteen years. On
October 15, 1973, while serving as a pantry girl, appellant was standing on a chair pouring orange juice when the chair slipped, causing her to fall to the floor. As a result, she sustained an injury to her back and received total disability compensation from October 16, 1973 to January 24, 1975. On February 10, 1975, the employer filed a termination petition alleging that Mrs. Halaski recovered from the injury and was able to return to work as of January 24, 1975. The referee entered a decision on September 16, 1975, ruling that all disability from the October 15, 1973 incident terminated as of April 18, 1975.
Mrs. Halaski returned to work at the Hilton Hotel in December, 1975 and continued to work until March, 1976. On March 8, 1976 while performing her duties in the kitchen of the hotel, she was struck by a food truck pushed by a fellow employee and was knocked to the floor. She testified that on this occasion she heard a snapping sound in her back. Because of the pain she was forced to leave work early and went to the hospital the day of the incident for treatment. After Mrs. Halaski remained home for two weeks, she was advised by her doctor to attempt to return to work. She was able to work for only one week before the pain caused her to return for further medical attention. Since that time the appellant has not returned to work.
On March 17, 1976, appellant filed a petition to reinstate the previous order for disability payments. This petition was dismissed by the referee on the basis that she "failed to show that her present disability [was] a result of her injury of October 15, 1973." Appellant also petitioned for compensation for injuries arising from the March 8, 1976 incident. The same referee who decided the reinstatement claim denied benefits under this claim because, "claimant failed to produce credible testimony that she sustained a compensable injury on March 8, ...