Appeals from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in the case of Josephine M. Gregorious v. European Health Spas, No. A-82701.
Patrick F. McArdle, McArdle, Caroselli, Spagnolli & Beachler, for petitioner/respondent, Joseph M. Gregorious.
Raymond F. Keisling, Will & Keisling, for respondent/petitioner, European Health Spas.
Judges Rogers, Craig and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.
Josephine Gregorius*fn1 appeals an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board which reversed the referee's grant of benefits based on its determination that Ms. Gregorius failed to meet her burden of proving that disability involving her hands is compensable under section 108(n) of The Pennsylvania
Workmen's Compensation Act,*fn2 77 P.S. § 27.1(n), which requires proof that the incidence of the occupational disability is substantially greater in the claimant's industry than elsewhere in society. Ms. Gregorius argues that her disability is compensable under section 108(i) of the Act, which does not impose the burden of establishing "substantially greater incidence."
Hence, the pivotal issue is whether Ms. Gregorius' disability, initially diagnosed as contact dermatitis caused by exposure to cleaning fluids, should be considered for compensation under section 108(n) of the Act, or under section 108(i), which provide:
The term "occupational disease" as used in this act, shall mean only the following diseases.
(i) Infection or inflammation of the skin due to oils, cutting compounds, lubricants, dust, liquids, fumes, gases or vapor, in any occupation involving direct contact with, handling thereof, or exposure thereto.
(n) All other occupational diseases (1) to which the claimant is exposed by reason of his employment, and (2) which are peculiar to the industry or occupation, and (3) which are not common to the general population.
The record establishes that, on March 30, 1976, Josephine Gregorius scrubbed the inside of a swimming pool with muriatic acid in the course of her employment as a locker room attendant at European ...