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JACK ROWAN v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (03/20/81)

decided: March 20, 1981.

JACK ROWAN, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD AND ANEMOSTAT PRODUCTS, INC., RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in the case of Jack Rowan v. Anemostat Products, Inc., No. A-77350.

COUNSEL

Paul Sotak of Ralph P. Carey and Associates, for petitioner.

Lawrence L. Robinson, with him Joseph R. Thompson, for respondents.

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

Author: Macphail

[ 58 Pa. Commw. Page 58]

Jack Rowan (Claimant) appeals to this Court from an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board which reversed the decision of a referee and dismissed Claimant's petition to reinstate compensation. We reverse.

Claimant was injured in the course of his employment as a punch press operator with Anemostat Products, Inc. (Employer) when, on November 16, 1976, his left hand was caught in a punch press resulting in the partial amputation of three fingers. A notice of compensation payable in the amount of $131.90 per week was filed with the Department of Labor and Industry on December 9, 1976. A supplemental agreement was executed on March 22, 1977 which provided for compensation for the specific loss of one-half of the left first and third fingers and total loss of the left second finger. Claimant thus became entitled to compensation for a period of 80 weeks.*fn1

Claimant's last compensation payment was received on or about July 14, 1978. On August 3, 1978 Claimant filed a petition for reinstatement alleging that he was totally disabled due to the injuries which he sustained on November 16, 1976. Based on evidence adduced at a hearing, the referee found that Claimant was entitled to compensation for temporary total disability as well as for specific loss. The Board reversed

[ 58 Pa. Commw. Page 59]

    the referee's finding of temporary total disability and the present appeal was taken.

The sole issue for our determination is whether or not the Board erred when it deleted several of the referee's findings of fact and law and concluded that Claimant had failed to sustain his burden of proving total disability.

Our scope of review where, as here, the party with the burden of proof prevailed before the referee and the Board took no additional evidence, is to determine whether constitutional rights were violated, an error of law was committed, or a necessary finding of fact of the referee was unsupported by substantial evidence. Fox v. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board, 30 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 93, 373 A.2d 141 (1977).

The referee in the instant case found that Claimant suffered from neuromas which constitute injuries "separate, apart and distinct" from the specific losses and that Claimant was totally disabled by the neuroma pain. The Board concluded that the referee's finding constituted "an ...


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