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COOPER-JARRETT v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (12/09/80)

decided: December 9, 1980.

COOPER-JARRETT, INC., PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD AND DARREL D. MILLER, RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Darrel D. Miller v. Cooper-Jarrett, Inc., No. A-75476.

COUNSEL

Samuel H. Elkin, Reed, Smith, Shaw & McClay, for petitioner.

W. Thomas Malcolm, for respondent, Darrell D. Miller.

Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Craig and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.

Author: Craig

[ 55 Pa. Commw. Page 205]

In this workmen's compensation appeal, the employer*fn1 questions an award of compensation by the board,*fn2 affirming a referee's decision awarding compensation to claimant,*fn3 a truck driver.

While driving a truck for the employer on August 10, 1977, from Sharon, Pa. to Napoleon, Ohio, claimant passed over a rough area in the pavement, which caused the truck to bounce. Although the truck seat was equipped with an automatic air-inflated suspension device intended to cushion against bumps, the testimony was that the seat failed to provide protection and claimant was jolted as the seat dropped and hit a post connected to the floor, as the truck simultaneously bounced up.

Claimant continued driving for two hours; when he alighted from the truck and tried to walk, he noticed

[ 55 Pa. Commw. Page 206]

    a pain in his hip. However, he completed the trip to Napoleon and prepared for the return to Sharon with another load. Because the pain continued to increase, claimant was unable to complete the return trip.

Claimant alleged that, as a result of the jolt, he injured his neck, back and hip, and was totally disabled for over eight months.

The referee found that claimant had suffered a compensable injury while in the course of his employment, that claimant's injury was an aggravation of an existing condition, and that claimant was totally disabled from August 11, 1977 up to April 2, 1978.

Employer essentially argues on this appeal that the record does not contain substantial evidence to support the referee's conclusion that claimant was partially or totally disabled as a result ...


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