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UNITED STATES STEEL CORPORATION v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (04/01/81)

decided: April 1, 1981.

UNITED STATES STEEL CORPORATION, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD AND ANTHONY L. BABUSCIO, RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Claim of Anthony Babuscio v. U.S. Steel Corp., No. A-76956.

COUNSEL

James D. Strader, with him Louis A. Raimond, for petitioner.

Jay L. Fingeret, for respondent, Anthony L. Babuscio.

Judges Mencer, Rogers and Williams, Jr., sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr. This decision was reached prior to the expiration of the term of office of Judge Wilkinson, Jr.

Author: Williams

[ 58 Pa. Commw. Page 184]

United States Steel Corporation (U.S. Steel) appeals from an Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) affirming a referee's decision which awarded total disability benefits to Anthony Babuscio

[ 58 Pa. Commw. Page 185]

(claimant) for a work-related injury, pursuant to Section 306(a) of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act.*fn1

Anthony Babuscio was employed for eleven and one-half years as a chainman in the structural department of U.S. Steel's Homestead Works. On June 21, 1976, claimant filed a workmen's compensation claim petition alleging, inter alia, that he sustained an injury or disease in the form of a loss of hearing and sensitivity to noise. He contended that his injury or disease resulted from prolonged exposure, without proper protective devices, to excessive noise during his working career with U.S. Steel.

A referee's hearing was held at which medical testimony was received concerning the relationship between the claimant's injury and his past employment. Also offered into evidence was a report prepared by the United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration indicating that the noise levels in the section where the claimant worked were up to and in excess of one hundred fifteen decibels. After hearing all of the evidence, the referee decided that the claimant was totally disabled and that his disability occurred as a direct result of his continual and constant exposure to excessively high noise levels during the course of his employment with U.S. Steel. Accordingly, the referee awarded the claimant workmen's compensation benefits for a total disability. U.S. Steel appealed the referee's award to the Board. The Board affirmed the referee's decision and the employer's appeal to this Court followed.

Appellant, U.S. Steel, contests claimant's eligibility for benefits and contends that the claimant did not sustain his burden of proof. Specifically, the appellant alleges that the claimant did not produce medical

[ 58 Pa. Commw. Page 186]

    evidence to substantiate the fact that the injuries about which he complained caused him to be disabled. Additionally, appellant opposes the referee's ...


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