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DAVID W. BREEN v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (06/05/80)

decided: June 5, 1980.

DAVID W. BREEN, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA CRIME COMMISSION, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of David W. Breen v. Pennsylvania Crime Commission.

COUNSEL

David W. Breen, petitioner, for himself.

Martin W. Bashoff, Special Assistant Attorney General, for respondent.

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

Author: Williams

[ 52 Pa. Commw. Page 42]

The petitioner, an employee of the Department of Justice, Pennsylvania Crime Commission, appeals from a reversal by the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) of a referee's award of workmen's compensation benefits to him.

Petitioner began his employment with the Crime Commission at an annual salary of $32,333.00 on July 2, 1973. He was immediately detailed to supervise a special project involving the investigation of corruption in the Philadelphia Police Department.

He continued in this capacity until April of 1974, when, at his request, he was reassigned to the position

[ 52 Pa. Commw. Page 43]

    of Director of Field Operations at a reduced salary of approximately $24,626.00. His last full day of work was June 30, 1976.

This case arises from the alleged extensive duty hours and accompanying stress and strain attributed to petitioner's duties while on the special project assignment.

On September 17, 1976, petitioner filed a claim petition under The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act, Act of June 2, 1915, P.L. 736, as amended, 77 P.S. ยง 1 et seq. He alleged that the combination of prolonged periods of stress from extensive duty hours plus irregular meals and lack of regular rest during the period of the special investigation, resulted in the severe aggravation of a pre-existing condition of colitis, causing permanent damage to his colon. He further alleged that the chronic and spastic colitis condition which forced him at first to assume a lesser position at a reduced salary, was now preventing him from holding any full-time gainful position.

After several hearings before a referee, petitioner was awarded partial disability benefits in the amount of $95.17 per week, beginning with the week of April 4, 1974, and continuing into the future, subject to the provisions of the Act. The referee ruled that petitioner had sustained an accidental injury by severe and prolonged ...


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