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

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 ...


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