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BETHLEHEM STEEL CORPORATION v. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (FURNARI (05/25/84)

decided: May 25, 1984.

BETHLEHEM STEEL CORPORATION, PETITIONER
v.
WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (FURNARI, JR.), RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Thomas Furnari, Jr. v. Bethlehem Steel Corp., No. A-83044.

COUNSEL

Robert G. Rose, Spence, Custer, Saylor, Wolfe & Rose, for petitioner.

Kevin L. Sanders, for respondent, Thomas Furnari, Jr.

Judges Williams, Jr., Barry and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr.

Author: Williams

[ 82 Pa. Commw. Page 563]

Bethlehem Steel Corporation (employer) petitions for review of the opinion and order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board reversing the order of the referee and awarding compensation to Thomas Furnari, Jr. (claimant) with interest for the period from April 25, 1981 to October 5, 1981 and payment of a medical bill under the provisions of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act (Act).*fn1

On April 24, 1981, while on the employer's premises, the claimant was leaving work after punching out. As he was walking toward the gate his leg gave way for no known reason and he fell to the ground fracturing his right distal tibia and fibula bones.

[ 82 Pa. Commw. Page 564]

The referee dismissed the claim petition, concluding that because the claimant's injury was not caused by the condition of the employer's premises or by reason of the operation of the employer's business thereon, the claimant failed to prove a compensable injury under the Act.*fn2 The Board reversed under Krist v. Page 564} Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board, 55 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 127, 422 A.2d 1220 (1980).*fn3

The employer contends that the Board exceeded its scope of review by substituting a finding of fact that the claimant fell and that his injury was caused by his fall and that the Board's legal conclusion that the claimant's injury occurred in the course of his employment and was related thereto is, therefore, erroneous as a matter of law. We disagree.

Of course, issues of credibility, resolution of conflicting testimony and the weight to be given to the evidence are matters within the province of the referee in a workmen's compensation proceeding. Port Authority of Allegheny County. Neither the Board nor this Court can substitute its discretion for that of the referee if the referee's findings are supported by substantial evidence. Id. However, the Board did not substitute its own findings for those of the referee in this case.

In his finding of fact number 4, the referee found:

On April 24, 1981, after the claimant had worked the 3-11 shift and had punched out, he was walking along the usual path for leaving the mill which was of dirt and gravel construction at a point twenty-five (25) feet from the gate at Laurel Avenue, the claimant's leg "gave way" for no known reason as a ...


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