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MARION F. BELL v. CITY PHILADELPHIA (07/18/84)

decided: July 18, 1984.

MARION F. BELL, APPELLANT
v.
CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, BOARD OF PENSIONS AND RETIREMENT, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in case of Marion F. Bell v. City of Philadelphia, Board of Pensions and Retirement, No. 1260 November Term, 1981.

COUNSEL

Mark R. Cuker, Wapner, Newman & Associates, for appellant.

Ralph J. Teti, Deputy Solicitor, for appellee.

Judges Doyle, Palladino and Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino.

Author: Palladino

[ 84 Pa. Commw. Page 48]

Marion F. Bell (Appellant), appeals from a decision of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County which affirmed the determination made by the City of Philadelphia, Board of Pensions and Retirement (Board). For the reasons set forth below we reverse the decision of the court below and remand the case to the Board for rehearing.

Appellant suffered injuries in two separate falls while at work, for which she filed a workmen's compensation claim. This claim was decided by our Court earlier*fn1 and is not before us today.

This appeal concerns Appellant's allegations of error in the Board's decision to deny her the opportunity to apply for service-connected disability retirement

[ 84 Pa. Commw. Page 49]

    benefits. While the disability benefits sought by Appellant allegedly arise from the same set of facts which formed the basis for her workmen's compensation appeal, the sole issue before the Court at this juncture is whether or not the Board erred in refusing to allow Appellant to apply for such benefits.*fn2

Appellant seeks reversal on two separate grounds. First, Appellant alleges bias at the Board level and second, Appellant claims the Board erred as a matter of law in finding that she should be barred from filing her application for disability retirement benefits nunc pro tunc. After due consideration of these arguments we agree with Appellant on the former and as such, need not address the latter.

Appellant applied to the Board for disability retirement benefits on April 24, 1981. The Board ordered that a hearing panel of three Board members should take testimony, gather evidence, and then make a recommendation to the full Board. The panel convened on July 10, 1981, and consisted of three regular Board members and the Executive Director of the Board, ...


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