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BLACKWOOD TURF AND ROCKWOOD INSURANCE COMPANY v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (07/10/80)

decided: July 10, 1980.

BLACKWOOD TURF AND ROCKWOOD INSURANCE COMPANY, PETITIONERS
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD AND FRANCIS G. ZUK, RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Francis G. Zuk v. Blackwood Turf, No. A-76580.

COUNSEL

Mark Gordon, with him Fred C. Trenor, Meyer, Darragh, Buckler, Bebenek & Eck, for petitioners.

David M. McCloskey, Will & Keisling, for respondents.

Judges Wilkinson, Jr., MacPhail and Williams, Jr., sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson, Jr.

Author: Wilkinson

[ 52 Pa. Commw. Page 639]

The very narrow issue in this case is whether it falls within the category of those workmen's compensation cases where the causal relationship between claimant's disability and the alleged work related injury is so obvious that it is not necessary to have medical evidence to support the causation. Morgan v. Giant Markets, Inc., 483 Pa. 421, 397 A.2d 415 (1979); Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board v. Bethlehem Mines Corp., 22 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 437, 349 A.2d 529 (1975).

The disability here is the loss of hearing in the left ear. Claimant had lost the hearing in his right ear many years before as a result of meningitis as a child. Taking the evidence in the light most favorable to the claimant, he was digging post holes which was the sort of work he frequently did. However, these post holes were in ground where there were stones and it required extra effort and sometimes an assist from a chain and truck to remove the stones. Claimant began digging the holes about 8:30 a.m. The following is the claimant's testimony on direct examination :

Q. Did anything unusual happen to you that day?

A. Yes, I noticed that hearing in my left ear started to go bad around 10:00 that morning and by noon, I couldn't -- I could hear very little out of it, hardly anything.

Q. When were you making this effort to move the heaviest rock that you talked about? Was it before 10:00 or after it?

A. It was before 10:00.

[ 52 Pa. Commw. Page ...


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