Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Dennis A. Martin v. Koppers Company, No. A-83699.
Eugene G. Berry, for petitioner, Koppers Company.
Richard G. Spagnolli, McArdle, Caroselli, Spagnolli & Beachler, for respondent, Dennis A. Martin.
Judges Craig, MacPhail and Doyle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.
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This is an appeal by the Koppers Company (Koppers) and Travelers Insurance Company from an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) which affirmed a referee's award of benefits to Dennis A. Martin (Claimant). We affirm.
On September 2, 1981, Claimant was injured during the course of his employment with Koppers and was paid compensation, pursuant to a Notice of Compensation Payable dated September 16, 1981, for various contusions and lacerations sustained by him. Claimant returned to work and executed a Final Receipt which indicated payment to him of 6/7 of a week of compensation. On January 8, 1982, Claimant filed a Petition to Set Aside the Final Receipt seeking compensation for facial disfigurement under Section 306(c) of the Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act, Act of June 2, 1915, P.L. 736, as amended, 77 P.S. § 513.
Initially, Koppers argues that the signing of the Final Receipt bars Claimant's recovery. Koppers relies on Phillips v. Coxe Brothers & Co., 135 Pa. Superior Ct. 185, 5 A.2d 445 (1939); that reliance is misplaced. At the time Phillips was decided, final receipts signed in workmen's compensation claims expressly included claims for disfigurement in releasing the employer from further liability. Today they do
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not*fn1 and the law regarding petitions to set aside a Final Receipt has changed much since 1939. See 2 Barbieri, Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation § 6.33 (1975). Our case law is clear that a final receipt may be set aside upon a showing that all compensable disability had not ceased at the time of the signing. Yellow Freight System v. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (McGill), 72 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 500, 456 A.2d 1160 (1983); Wool v. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Wool's Block Works), 69 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 276, 450 A.2d 1081 (1982).
Koppers next urges that Claimant failed to meet his burden to set aside the Final Receipt because he presented no medical evidence that the scar was serious and permanent so as to be compensable under Section 306(c). We disagree. We have held that the permanence and seriousness of a scar can be determined on view,*fn2 Sun Ship & Dry Dock Co. v. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board, 41 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 302, 398 A.2d 1111 (1979), aff'd Sun Ship Inc. v. Pennsylvania, 447 U.S. 715 (1980), and may be determined without medical evidence. East Coast Shows v. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board, 37 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 312, 390 A.2d 323 (1978).*fn3 Recently, we
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have emphasized that, unlike other compensable injuries, disfigurement is not best determined by medical evidence. American Chain & Cable Co. v. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Weaver), 70 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 579, 454 A.2d 211 (1982). The referee and the Board necessarily rely primarily on their viewing of the scar to determine its seriousness and the amount of compensation to be awarded. American Chain. The viewing of the scar here constitutes substantial evidence supporting the award. See ...