Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Joseph P. Kirin v. Paper Products Company, Inc., No. A-79873.
Lawrence J. Baldasare, Meyer, Darragh, Buckler, Bebenek & Eck, for petitioners.
David S. Pollock, Jubelirer, Pass & Intrieri, P.C., for respondent, Joseph P. Kirin.
Judges Rogers, MacPhail and Doyle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers.
[ 67 Pa. Commw. Page 578]
Paper Products Company here appeals from an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board, affirming a referee's award of expenses and compensation to Joseph P. Kirin, formerly employed as a truck driver by Paper Products, on account of a heart attack suffered by Kirin in the course of his employment on December 20, 1976. We affirm.
The claimant testified that he suffered a sharp pain across his chest (later diagnosed as a myocardial infarction), as he drove his truck around a corner.
To be eligible for workmen's compensation a claimant must prove that the injury was suffered while he was in the course of his employment and that the injury was related to, that is, causally connected to that employment. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board v. G.M. & W. Coal Co., 29 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 138, 370 A.2d 386 (1977).
Based on the testimony of one Dr. Cuddeback, the claimant's treating physician and medical witness, the referee found that the claimant's heart attack was "causally related" to his employment. The employer contends that Dr. Cuddeback's testimony is equivocal on that point and therefore cannot support the referee's finding of a causal relationship. As this court stated in Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board v. Bowen, 26 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 593, 596, 364 A.2d 1387, 1389 (1976) (citations omitted):
[I]t is well settled that where no obvious causal relationship exists it must be established by unequivocal medical testimony. . . . An examination
[ 67 Pa. Commw. Page 579]
of cases where the injury suffered was a heart attack, however, reveals that medical testimony need not be given in ...