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FELIX SCIULLI v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (04/28/83)

decided: April 28, 1983.

FELIX SCIULLI, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA CRIME VICTIM'S COMPENSATION BOARD, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Crime Victim's Compensation Board in case of In Re: Claim of Felix Sciulli, Victim Keith R. Sciulli, Claim No. 79-0270-B. Personal Injury Claim.

COUNSEL

Ronald P. Koerner, Gatz, Cohen, Segal & Koerner, for petitioner.

George Neuhauser, Deputy Attorney General, with him, Sally A. Lied and Francis R. Filipi, Deputy Attorneys General, and LeRoy S. Zimmerman, Attorney General, for respondent.

Judges Rogers, Craig and Doyle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.

Author: Craig

[ 74 Pa. Commw. Page 37]

Claimant Felix Sciulli appeals from an order of the Pennsylvania Crime Victim's Compensation Board.

On November 31, 1978, a criminal assailant struck Keith Sciulli, minor son of the claimant, with a glass beer mug. As a result of the assault, Keith Sciulli is blind in his left eye.*fn1

The board awarded the claimant $391.33 for loss of earnings and out-of-pocket expenses related to his son's injury, but did not compensate the claimant for those medical expenses which were covered by his insurance policy. This appeal questions that denial of compensation.

The board subjected the claimant's medical expense claim to the reduction provision of ยง 477.9(e) of the Crime Victim's Compensation Act, which provides, in relevant part:

(e) Except for claims involving dismemberment or loss of an eye, any award made pursuant to this act shall be reduced by the amount of any payments received or to be received by the claimant as a result of the injury . . . under any insurance programs including those mandated by law [or] under any contract of insurance wherein the claimant is the insured beneficiary.*fn2

The claimant argues here that the board incorrectly interpreted that section to require the physical loss of the eye tissue in order to qualify for the exception to the set-off provision.

The act does not define either "dismemberment" or "loss of an eye"; therefore, we rely upon the Statutory Construction ...


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