Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Joseph L. Bevilacqua v. J. Bevilacqua Sons, Inc., No. A-81776.
George W. Teets, with him, Albert B. Mackarey, for petitioner.
Kathleen Lenahan, with her, David E. Heisler, Lenahan and Dempsey, for respondents, J. Bevilacqua Sons, Inc.
Judges Williams, Jr., Doyle and Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr.
[ 82 Pa. Commw. Page 512]
Joseph L. Bevilacqua (claimant) petitions for review of the opinion and order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) reversing the referee and dismissing his claim petition.
The claimant was employed by J. Bevilacqua Sons, Inc. (employer), which is owned and operated by his family. He worked there for approximately twenty years. For the first fifteen years, he was a sheet metal worker under the direct supervision of a foreman. During that time, his father and two uncles ran the business. Approximately five years before June 23, 1980, the claimant's last day of employment, his father retired and ceased active participation in the day to day operations of the business. At that time, the claimant left his old job and assumed his father's duties as an estimator. In the new position, his duties included supervising other employees, performing estimates for customers, answering telephones in the office and preparing and sending bills and other paperwork.
[ 82 Pa. Commw. Page 513]
As a result of the changes in his duties, the claimant began to experience depression, anxiety and mental confusion. He became increasingly unable to perform his daily job functions and, although his uncles did not pressure him to do more work, he felt that he was not performing the estimator job in a satisfactory manner.
In September, 1978, the claimant came under the care of Dr. Anthony A. Galdieri, a clinical psychologist. Dr. Galdieri treated him for approximately two months and during this period his condition stabilized. He was able to function at work at that time, but due to financial considerations, he discontinued the treatments.
In January, 1980, the claimant returned to Dr. Galdieri. His condition had deteriorated and he was suffering from severe depression, severe anxiety, mental confusion, poor concentration and thoughts of suicide. He was on sick leave from work through the first several months of 1980 and continued under Dr. Galdieri's care on a regular basis during this period. Also, at this time, Dr. Galdieri's associate, Dr. Boriosi, a psychiatrist, prescribed medication for the claimant which he continued to take through the date of the hearing. Responding to treatment, the claimant exhibited improvement and as the expiration of his leave approached, Dr. Galdieri recommended that he return to work. However, during the week immediately preceeding his return, there was a complete exacerbation of his symptoms and when he returned to work, he was unable to function. Although he reported to work daily, the claimant could do little work. He would perform only minor tasks such as answering the telephone when necessary and picking up blueprints. However, because of his inability to drive, his wife had to chauffer him to pick up blueprints. When he related his continuing difficulties at work, Dr. Galdieri
[ 82 Pa. Commw. Page 514]
concluded that the claimant would have to realize that he could no longer remain in the estimator job. Finally, on June 23, 1980, the claimant advised one of his uncles ...