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CHAMBERLAIN MANUFACTURING CORP. v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (10/15/80)

decided: October 15, 1980.

CHAMBERLAIN MANUFACTURING CORP., PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD AND STANLEY H. STANKIEWICZ, RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Stanley H. Stankiewicz v. Chamberlain Manufacturing Corp., No. A-76534.

COUNSEL

Joseph E. Gallagher, of counsel, Bour, Gallagher & Foley, for petitioner.

Michael Basista, for respondent, Stanley H. Stankiewicz.

Judges Blatt, Craig and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 54 Pa. Commw. Page 266]

Chamberlain Manufacturing Corporation (Petitioner) has filed this appeal from an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) affirming a referee's order that granted benefits to Stanley H. Stankiewicz (Claimant) for temporary total disability. We affirm.

On August 26, 1975, Claimant, aided by two fellow employees, was carrying a heavy piece of equipment when he tripped on an imperfection in the cement floor

[ 54 Pa. Commw. Page 267]

    and fell. The piece of equipment was jarred from Claimant's grasp and he testified that it struck him in the back as he fell. Claimant was taken immediately to the emergency room of a nearby hospital where he was referred to his own physician and released. He was examined by his physician on August 28, 1975 and, as a result of this examination, was hospitalized on September 9, 1975. A conservative course of treatment did not alleviate Claimant's symptoms; therefore, surgery to remove two herniated discs was performed on November 5, 1975. Claimant was discharged from the hospital on November 15, 1975 and was released to return to light work on February 24, 1976. He had worked continuously from that date to the time of the referee's hearing on this matter.

Petitioner raises two issues for our review: (1) whether the referee's conclusion that Petitioner was bound by a finding entered by another referee in a related matter was error and (2) whether the referee's finding that Claimant's disability was caused by the injury of August 26, 1975 is based on substantial evidence.

The record in the instant case shows that Claimant had sustained a prior injury to his back during the course of his employment on May 7, 1975. Benefits were paid by Petitioner, but a Termination Petition was duly filed subsequent to August 7, 1975, the date on which Claimant returned to work. This Termination Petition was granted on September 20, 1977.

Referee Donlan, who ruled on the Termination Petition, found inter alia that all disability from the May 7, 1975 injury had ceased and that any disability experienced by Claimant subsequent to August 7, 1975 was the result of the incident on August 26, 1975.

Referee Simon, who presided in the instant case, concluded that Petitioner was bound by Referee Donlan's finding that a new ...


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