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DUQUESNE LIGHT COMPANY v. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (MICHAEL SHAFFER) (10/07/83)

decided: October 7, 1983.

DUQUESNE LIGHT COMPANY, PETITIONER
v.
WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (MICHAEL SHAFFER), RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Michael Shaffer v. Duquesne Light Co., No. A-80712.

COUNSEL

John A. Lee, for petitioner.

John J. Moschetta, Jr., for respondent, Michael Shaffer.

Judges Blatt, MacPhail and Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Barbieri.

Author: Barbieri

[ 77 Pa. Commw. Page 427]

Duquesne Light Company (Duquesne) comes before us requesting review of an award against it and in favor of Claimant, Michael Shaffer, for total disability from anthracosilicosis as of August 30, 1977, compensable under Section 108(q) of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act (Act), Act of June 2, 1915, P.L. 736, as amended, added by Section 1 of the Act of December 6, 1972, P.L. 1627, 77 P.S. ยง 27.1(q). Finding no merit in either of Duquesne's two contentions, we affirm.

Duquesne's first contention is that only partial disability should have been recognized by the compensation authorities, since claimant's medical witness testified that Claimant was suffering from a combination of three diseases: anthracosilicosis, pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema, whereas the award was for total and permanent disability from anthracosilicosis under Section 108(q). The referee's first decision, dated December 15, 1978, awarding compensation, contains the following finding:

5. That after a review of the records, the testimony, exhibits, and medical evidence, your Referee

[ 77 Pa. Commw. Page 428]

    chooses to believe the deposition submitted by the Claimant of Dr. A. Carl Walker that the claimant was totally and permanently disabled from anthracosilicosis as of August 30, 1977 due to his accumulative exposure to dusts in the coal mines.

The award was affirmed by the Board, but later vacated with a remand, in response to an uncontested petition by Duquesne for a rehearing. After further proceedings on February 4, 1981, the referee again awarded benefits, adopting several of the findings in her prior decision, including No. 5 quoted above, and adding the following finding:

C. That the Claimant submitted a deposition of Dr. A. Carl Walker taken on May 14, 1980 wherein Dr. Walker states that Claimant's interstitial fibrosis is secondary to anthracosilicosis and Claimant's emphysema is secondary to coal dust with ...


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