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THIELE v. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (SULOSKY (06/19/84)

decided: June 19, 1984.

THIELE, INC. AND WESTMORELAND CASUALTY COMPANY, PETITIONERS
v.
WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (SULOSKY, JR.), RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of William P. Sulosky, Jr. v. Thiele, Inc., No. A-78155.

COUNSEL

Dennis N. Persin, Stewart, Belden, Herrington & Belden, for petitioners.

Kevin L. Sanders, for respondent, William P. Sulosky, Jr.

Judges Craig, Barry and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Barry.

Author: Barry

[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 287]

This appeal follows an award of benefits by a referee, affirmed by the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board), to William P. Sulosky (claimant).

The claimant was injured on July 8, 1976, while employed by Thiele, Inc., (petitioner), when during the course of his employment, a metallic foreign body penetrated the cornea and lens of his left eye. Dr. Edward Sorr surgically removed the metallic object from claimant's left eye the next day. Following post-operative recovery, a traumatic cataract developed in claimant's left eye which necessitated surgical extraction by Dr. Sorr on December 9, 1976.

The claimant received workmen's compensation benefits for twenty-eight weeks and executed a Final Receipt on March 25, 1977, which recited that the claimant returned to work for the employer at no loss of earnings on February 28, 1977.

The claimant subsequently filed a Petition to Set Aside a Final Receipt which the referee granted on July 20, 1978. The Board, however, remanded the case to the referee to review the medical testimony and determine the proper legal criteria for the loss of use of an eye.

Additional medical testimony was presented to the referee who again granted relief to claimant in his Petition to Set Aside a Final Receipt and awarded benefits for the loss of use of his left eye. The Board affirmed the order of the referee and this appeal followed.

[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 288]

The scope of review of this Court, where the party with the burden of proof prevails below, is limited to a determination of whether necessary findings of fact were supported by substantial evidence. Forbes Pavillion Nursing Home v. Harden, 18 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 352, 336 A.2d 440 (1975). The claimant, having the burden of proof in a proceeding to set aside a final receipt, prevailed before the Board by proving the loss of use of his injured eye. We, therefore, must consider whether substantial evidence supports the findings by the fact finder who awarded benefits to the claimant for loss of use of his injured eye.

The standard for determining whether compensation for the specific loss of an eye should be awarded where the eye has been injured ...


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