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INTERSTATE UNITED CORPORATION AND ROYAL GLOBE INSURANCE COMPANY v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (01/30/81)

decided: January 30, 1981.

INTERSTATE UNITED CORPORATION AND ROYAL GLOBE INSURANCE COMPANY, PETITIONERS
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD AND JOANNE BAIR, RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Joanne Bair v. Interstate United Corporation, No. 76606.

COUNSEL

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

Douglas A. Campbell, Campbell, Lampl & Levine, for respondent, Joanne Bair.

Judges Mencer, Rogers and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino.

Author: Palladino

[ 56 Pa. Commw. Page 387]

This is an appeal from a decision of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) which affirmed a referee's order setting aside a final receipt and reinstating compensation benefits to the claimant, Joanne Bair. We affirm.

The claimant in this case was formerly employed as a countergirl by Interstate United Corporation (Interstate) in a cafeteria located in United States Steel Corporation's (U.S.S.) Homestead plant which Interstate leased from U.S.S. On October 25, 1975, while on her way home from this job, the claimant fell and injured her lower back and arm on the steps of a footbridge owned and controlled by U.S.S. which connected the Homestead plant to a public street. As a result of these injuries, the claimant could no longer perform her customary duties at work. Subsequently Interstate and its insurance carrier, Royal Globe Insurance Co. (Royal), responded to this situation by executing a Notice of Compensation Payable, and agreed to pay the claimant compensation benefits at the rate of $74.03 per week. The claimant received these benefits from October 27, 1975, until March 8, 1976, at which time she executed a Final Receipt.

Several months thereafter the claimant filed a petition seeking to have the benefits reinstated alleging that her disability had changed as of March 9, 1976. The referee treated this petition as one to set aside a final receipt and conducted several evidentiary hearings. At the final hearing held on July 5, 1978, Interstate and Royal made an oral motion to set aside the Notice of Compensation Payable alleging that prior to this hearing they had not known that the claimant had been injured on property owned and controlled by U.S.S., and that this fact would bar the awarding of compensation benefits to the claimant. The referee agreed to consider this motion, subsequently denied it

[ 56 Pa. Commw. Page 388]

    without comment, and after evaluating the evidence ordered that the compensation benefits be reinstated.

On appeal the Board affirmed both the order reinstating benefits and the dismissal of the motion to strike the Notice of Compensation Payable concluding that Interstate and Royal had not followed the proper procedure for questioning a Notice of Compensation Payable specified in Section 413 of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act (Act), Act of June 2, 1915, P.L. 736, as amended, 77 P.S. § 771.

Before this Court the appellants allege that the referee erred in reinstating benefits since the claimant did not sustain her injury on her employer's "premises" within the intendment of Section 301(c)(1) of the Act, 77 P.S. § 411(1), and that this issue was properly before the referee since Section 413 of the Act permits referees to set aside a Notice of Compensation Payable "at any time." We disagree. In so doing we note that we need not address the ...


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