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CRUCIBLE STEEL v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (03/04/80)

decided: March 4, 1980.

CRUCIBLE STEEL, INC., COLT INDUSTRIES, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD AND JOSEPH ALOI, RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Joseph Aloi v. Colt Industries, No. A-75477.

COUNSEL

William F. Henkel, with him Stephen I. Richman, of Greenlee, Richman, Derrico & Posa, for petitioner.

John W. McTiernan, with him Patrick F. McArdle, of McArdle, Caroselli, Spagnolli & Beachler, for respondents.

Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson, Jr. President Judge Bowman did not participate in the decision in this case.

Author: Wilkinson

[ 49 Pa. Commw. Page 562]

Petitioner (employer) appeals an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) affirming

[ 49 Pa. Commw. Page 563]

    a referee's decision awarding total disability benefits to respondent (claimant) pursuant to the occupational disease 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.*fn1 We affirm.

Claimant had worked as a laborer and wharf man for the employer's steel company since 1950. On June 2, 1976, he was hospitalized due to gastro-intestinal bleeding. Claimant never returned to work. On May 6, 1977, while recovering from his hospitalization, he was examined by a physician who after re-examination on September 8, 1977, concluded that claimant had authracosilicosis and pulmonary emphysema. Claimant then filed a petition for compensation under the Act, alleging that he had become totally and permanently disabled and further alleging that his disability was caused by his exposure to deleterious gases, smoke, dust, and particulate matter at his place of employment.

On the basis of the evidence presented, including the testimony of the doctor who had diagnosed the disability, the referee determined that the claimant had sustained a disabling occupational disease under the Act and was therefore entitled to the receipt of benefits. The Board, after consideration of an appeal filed by the employer, affirmed the referee's decision. Thereafter, the employer appealed to this Court, arguing that the claimant had not presented substantial evidence to support a finding of disability in that evidence relating the physical impairment to an inability to perform job functions was lacking. Specifically, the

[ 49 Pa. Commw. Page 564]

    employer argued that a medical opinion of disability is not substantial evidence when the doctor voicing the opinion allegedly has not considered the physical ...


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