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SPECTRUM ARENA v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (05/15/80)

decided: May 15, 1980.

SPECTRUM ARENA, INC., PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD AND LUCIANA VALENTINE, RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Luciana Valentine v. Spectrum Arena, Inc., No. A-74789.

COUNSEL

Richard S. March, of counsel, Galfand, Berger, Senesky, Lurie and March, for petitioner.

Bruce W. Miller, Silver & Miller, P.C., for respondent.

President Judge Crumlish and Judges Rogers and Williams, Jr., sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr.

Author: Williams

[ 51 Pa. Commw. Page 382]

This is an appeal by Spectrum Arena, Inc. from an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board affirming the referee's decision to set aside a Final Settlement Receipt and continue the total disability compensation of claimant Luciana Valentine.

On June 11, 1974 the claimant sustained a lower back sprain in the course of her employment as a cleaning woman at the Spectrum Arena. She collected compensation for the period from June 11, 1974 to October 29, 1974, when she returned to work. On October 30, 1974 she executed a Final Settlement Receipt. The claimant attempted to assume lighter duties, but stopped on November 3, 1974 complaining of back pains. She remained on leave without pay until December 18, 1974, when she again attempted to resume working. She continued on the job until January 27, 1975 when she stopped working, complaining of back pains, and did not return.

On June 28, 1976 the referee granted the claimant's petition to set aside the Final Settlement Receipt, finding that she was still totally disabled from the previous work injury. As a result the claimant was awarded total disability benefits, from October 30, 1974 into the indefinite future. The employer was

[ 51 Pa. Commw. Page 383]

    given appropriate credit to reflect the wages paid during the time claimant had returned to work.

The appellant-employer appealed; and the Board granted a remand to give the employer "one more opportunity to present medical evidence in support of their claim."

On remand, the "medical" evidence presented by the employer was a filmed surveillance of some of the claimant's activities in the months of April, May and June 1976. The film was offered to rebut the claimant's testimony that she stayed in the house 24 hours a day and did no shopping or visiting during that period. Apparently, the films showed the claimant to occasionally leave her home to go shopping and return with a shopping bag of groceries or to go visit neighbors.

The referee expressly stated that he was not persuaded by the film to change his initial determination, and thus republished his original findings of fact and conclusions of law. The Board ...


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