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GREENE COUNTY MEMORIAL HOSPITAL AND PACIFIC EMPLOYERS INSURANCE COMPANY v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (08/04/81)

decided: August 4, 1981.

GREENE COUNTY MEMORIAL HOSPITAL AND PACIFIC EMPLOYERS INSURANCE COMPANY
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD AND HELEN I. COLE, RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in the case of Helen I. Cole v. Greene County Memorial Hospital, No. A-77690.

COUNSEL

David M. McCloskey, Will and Keisling, for petitioners.

R. Wallace Maxwell, Maxwell and Davis, for respondent, Helen I. Cole.

Judges Craig, MacPhail and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 61 Pa. Commw. Page 83]

Greene County Memorial Hospital (Employer) appeals here from a decision of the Workmen's Compensation

[ 61 Pa. Commw. Page 84]

Appeal Board (Board), dated July 10, 1980, that affirmed the referee's decision granting workmen's compensation benefits to Helen I. Cole (Claimant).

Claimant worked for Employer for more than 15 years as a licensed practical nurse. She alleged that she injured her back while lifting and turning a very heavy patient. Claimant was treated for low back pain in Employer's emergency room on several occasions beginning in March 1975. She continued to work until April 21 when she became totally disabled. Claimant was hospitalized on two occasions, first at Employer in May 1975 and subsequently at West Virginia University Hospital in July 1975. Claimant was found, inter alia, to be suffering from mild scoliosis of the spine, osteoporosis and degenerative arthritis of the spine.

On October 4, 1976, Claimant filed for workmen's compensation benefits under The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act (Act), Act of June 2, 1915, P.L. 736, as amended, 77 P.S. § 1, alleging that on March 19, 1975*fn1 she had sustained a work-related injury. Employer denied liability.

The first of several hearings was held in December, 1976. The referee issued his initial decision on April 19, 1978, in which he held that Claimant had sustained a work-related injury and was entitled to compensation benefits. Employer appealed to the Board. The Board set aside the referee's determination and remanded the case to him for further clarification of the finding that Claimant had given Employer notice pursuant to the Act.*fn2 After conducting additional

[ 61 Pa. Commw. Page 85]

    hearings the referee again awarded Claimant benefits. On appeal, the Board affirmed the referee. ...


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