Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in the case of Robert F. Brayo v. Walworth Valve Company, No. A-78025.
Robert J. Milie, for petitioner.
Roy F. Walters, Jr., with him Joseph F. Grochmal, Fried, Kane, Walters & Zuschlag, for respondent, Walworth Valve Company.
President Judge Crumlish and Judges Blatt and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.
[ 62 Pa. Commw. Page 235]
Robert F. Brayo (Claimant) appeals to this Court from an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board), which affirmed the decision of the referee denying workmen's compensation benefits to the Claimant.
Claimant's brief admits that the issue in this appeal is a narrow one -- did the referee capriciously disregard the competent medical testimony of Claimant's treating physician, Dr. Barua, who opined that Claimant was permanently totally disabled as a result of the work-related injuries he sustained on October 26, 1974.
The referee's finding that Claimant suffered a disabling work-related injury on October 26, 1974 is not in dispute. The claim petition, which was filed May 12, 1975, alleges that the disability is a continuing one. The first hearing was held May 25, 1976 but the referee's decision was not filed until October 3, 1979. The medical testimony from both Claimant's physician and Dr. Mitchell, who testified for the employer, was by deposition.
The referee's tenth finding of fact states:
After reviewing the medical testimony, your Referee accepts only that portion of Dr. Barua's testimony pertaining to the claimant's disability from the date of his injury until March 10, 1978 and further accepts as credible
[ 62 Pa. Commw. Page 236]
the testimony of Dr. William Mitchell that as of March 10, 1978 all of the claimant's disability, in reference to his work-related injury of October 26, 1974, ceased and terminated, although the claimant remained disabled at that time from causes unrelated to the work-related injury.
Claimant contends, of course, that that finding is erroneous in view of the fact that Dr. Barua testified unequivocally that Claimant was disabled by his work-related injury on October 26, 1974 and that he continues to be totally disabled from that same injury. In addition, Claimant argues that the fact that he is receiving Social ...