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ST. JOE ZINC v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (06/01/81)

decided: June 1, 1981.

ST. JOE ZINC, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD AND KENNETH R. HOWARD, RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Kenneth R. Howard v. St. Joe Zinc, No. A-77862.

COUNSEL

Bruce E. Woodske, Reed, Luce, Good, Tosh, Kunselman & McGregor, for petitioner.

Alexander J. Pentecost, for respondent, Kenneth R. Howard.

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

Author: Macphail

[ 59 Pa. Commw. Page 364]

This case presents the issue of whether the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) may increase a referee's award for facial disfigurement on the basis of the Board's independent observations of the Claimant.*fn1

[ 59 Pa. Commw. Page 365]

Kenneth R. Howard (Claimant), while in the course of his employment, sustained serious and permanent facial disfigurement of an unsightly nature when he was splashed by hot metal. After a hearing and personal view of the Claimant, the referee described Claimant's disfigurement in his finding as

     a number of scattered irregular shaped light pigmented spots on the right side of his face. The loss of flesh and some scarring on the right lobe of the nostril. A loss of flesh with some red pigmentation of the left upper ear lobe. A light pigmented scar that varies in width from approximately one inch down to a quarter inch, it extends from behind the ear down the base of the left jaw to within an inch and a half of the Adam's apple.

Under the provisions of Section 306(c)(22) of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act (Act), Act of June 2, 1915, P.L. 736, as amended, 77 P.S. ยง 513 (22)*fn2 the referee awarded Claimant 40 weeks of compensation at the rate of $227.00 per week.

On Claimant's appeal to the Board, the Board noted that it had observed the Claimant and described Claimant's disfigurement as follows:

The Claimant exhibited extensive scarring of the left cheek, left ear and nose, and behind the right ear. There ...


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