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LITTLESTOWN HARDWARE & FOUNDRY CO. v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (04/27/81)

decided: April 27, 1981.

LITTLESTOWN HARDWARE & FOUNDRY CO., INC., PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD AND JAMES N. BARNETT, RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of James N. Barnett v. Littlestown Hardware & Foundry, Inc., No. A-75967.

COUNSEL

John W. Phillips, Pyle and Phillips, for petitioner.

Robert O. Beers, Ports, Beers, Feldmann & Malone, for respondent, James N. Barnett.

Judges Mencer, Rogers and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer. Judge Wilkinson, Jr., did not participate in the decision in this case.

Author: Mencer

[ 58 Pa. Commw. Page 648]

Littlestown Hardware & Foundry Co., Inc. (employer) has appealed from a decision of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) which upheld an award of total disability benefits to James N. Barnett (claimant). We affirm.

The claimant worked in the employer's foundry from July 27, 1976 until he was injured on April 26, 1977. He was initially hired to fill the position of "grinder." His job involved lifting small metal castings from a conveyor belt, grinding off excess metal, and then tossing the castings into bins. Several weeks before he was injured, the claimant was given extra duties as a "weight shifter," which required lifting heavy molds and weights from the floor of the foundry and moving them about. He normally worked as a grinder in the morning and shifted weights in the afternoon. On April 26, 1977, while shifting weights, the claimant injured his back. After receiving medical treatment, he was told by Dr.

[ 58 Pa. Commw. Page 649]

Thomas Howard that he could return to light work as of August 1, 1977, so long as he did not engage in prolonged heavy lifting and bending.

The employer asserts that light work was offered to the claimant but that the claimant refused the offer. Therefore, the employer argues, the claimant became ineligible for total disability benefits. See Lopez v. Interstate Container Corp., 54 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 472, 421 A.2d 1248 (1980).

The only evidence in the record which could arguably justify a finding that light work was available to the claimant is contained in the following testimony:

BY THE REFEREE:

Q. Did you ever get any kind of notice from this Littlestown Hardware & Foundry ...


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