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HOLT HAULING & WAREHOUSE SYSTEM AND MIDLAND INSURANCE COMPANY v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (01/29/82)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: January 29, 1982.

HOLT HAULING & WAREHOUSE SYSTEM AND MIDLAND INSURANCE COMPANY, PETITIONERS
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD AND EUGENE SMITH, RESPONDENTS

Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Eugene Smith v. Holt Hauling and Warehouse System, No. A-78985.

COUNSEL

Susan McGloughlin, with her Roger B. Wood and David L. Pennington, Harvey, Pennington, Herting & Renneisen, Ltd., for petitioners.

Thomas F. McDevitt, for respondent, Eugene Smith.

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

Author: Craig

[ 64 Pa. Commw. Page 321]

Holt Hauling and Warehouse System, an employer, and its insurance company appeal from the decision of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board which affirmed the referee's award of compensation to claimant Eugene Smith for total disability arising from a heart injury suffered after extensive manual labor.

The claimant was hospitalized on January 12, 1977 after vomiting and complaining of dizziness following nearly two consecutive workdays of shoveling snow.

The employer attacks the referee's decision, contending that the testimony of the claimant's physician did not establish a clear link*fn1 between the claimant's employment activities and his heart condition. We cannot agree.

The testimony of the claimant's doctor clearly establishes causation between the claimant's work activity and the subsequent worsening of claimant's heart condition. The doctor stated:

In my opinion, assuming that the patient Mr. Smith had previous existing atrial fibrillation, bradycardia, and hypertension, it is my impression and my opinion that the strenuous work of January 11, 1977 and January 12, 1977 was a direct cause of producing the complications as found in his formal diagnosis and the necessity of the implanting of a permanent pacemaker.

Adhering to our scope of review,*fn2 we find this testimony of the claimant's physician to be substantial, as

[ 64 Pa. Commw. Page 322]

    well as competent,*fn3 to establish a causal connection between claimant's heart injuries and his employment.*fn4

Accordingly, we affirm.

Order

Now, January 29, 1982, the order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board, Docket No. A-78985, dated January 15, 1981, is affirmed. Judgment is entered in favor of claimant Eugene Smith and against Holt Hauling and Warehouse System and its insurer Midland Insurance Company, in the following amounts:

1. Weekly compensation at the rate of $132.27 is awarded to Eugene Smith for total disability commencing January 13, 1977 and continuing in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

2. The employer and/or its insurance carrier shall pay the following bills and expenses:

[ 64 Pa. Commw. Page 323]

Dr. Louis G. McAfoos $593.00

West Jersey Hospital $6,215.40

Andrew Anthrupometrics Clinic $70.00

West Jersey Anesthesia Association $112.00

Dr. Francisco Enriquez $1,765.00

3. The employer and/or its insurance carrier shall reimburse claimant in the sum of $795.70 for costs which have been paid by claimant.

4. The claimant is entitled to interest on deferred payments of compensation at the rate of 10%.

5. The employer and its insurance carrier shall deduct from any and all payments due the claimant, now or in the future, a sum equivalent to 20% thereof, to remit the same with the same frequency with which payments are made to the claimant, to Thomas F. McDevitt, Esquire, claimant's counsel, as an approved fee for his representation of him in these proceedings.

Judge Palladino did not participate in the decision in this case.

Disposition

Affirmed.


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