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FORD AEROSPACE v. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (DAVIS) (07/11/84)

decided: July 11, 1984.

FORD AEROSPACE, PETITIONER
v.
WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (DAVIS), RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Deborah Davis v. Ford Aerospace, No. A-81324.

COUNSEL

Sharon F. Harvey, Swartz, Campbell & Detweiler, for petitioner.

Barry L. Kratzer, Needleman, Needleman, Caney, Stein & Kratzer, Ltd., for respondent, Deborah Davis.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Williams, Jr. and Colins, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr.

Author: Williams

[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 585]

Ford Aerospace appeals from a decision of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board), Deborah Davis was injured in the course of her employment and was therefore entitled to workmen's

[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 586]

    compensation benefits and legal fees incurred in prosecuting her claim. We affirm.

The facts of this matter are not in dispute. On February 9, 1979, Deborah Davis, an employee of Ford Aerospace (employer), was injured on the employer's premises which injuries caused Davis to be absent from work for fifteen weeks. Davis' injury occurred when she fell out of a chair in her foreman's office, hit the floor and injured her shoulder. Earlier on her shift, Davis had reported to her foreman that she was ill and requested permission to report off work. The foreman refused Davis permission to go home or to take her prescribed medication but later had Davis taken to the emergency room of a local hospital for treatment.*fn1 After being treated, Davis was escorted back to the employer's premises to report to her foreman. Upon her return to employer's place of business, Davis became groggy as a result of the medication she received and her foreman directed her to rest in an office. The foreman sat her in a straight back wooden chair at a desk and turned out the lights. Davis thereafter fell asleep and later fell out of the chair injuring her shoulder. The injuries received as a result of this incident caused Davis to be absent from work from February 10, 1979 until May 28, 1979.*fn2

Davis filed a claim for compensation pursuant to the Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act (Act).*fn3 After a hearing, a referee granted Davis

[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 587]

    workmen's compensation benefits of $181.33 per week from February 10, 1979 through May 28, 1979 less a credit to the employer for health and accident benefits previously paid to Davis. The referee also awarded Davis counsel fees of twenty percent of the total benefits pro-rated between the credit the employer received for the prior insurance benefits and the balance of the workmen's compensation award.*fn4 The employer appealed to the Board which affirmed the referee's order and petition for review by this Court followed.

The employer presented two issues for us to resolve on appeal. The first is whether the Board's finding that Davis was injured in the course of her employment was in capricious disregard of competent evidence. The other issue is whether the Board erred in awarding counsel fees to Davis' attorney from the amount of ...


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