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NATIONAL MINES CORPORATION AND OLD REPUBLIC COMPANIES v. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (GEISEL) (07/29/85)

decided: July 29, 1985.

NATIONAL MINES CORPORATION AND OLD REPUBLIC COMPANIES, PETITIONERS
v.
WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (GEISEL), RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in the case of James Geisel v. National Mines Corporation, No. A-84364.

COUNSEL

Paul E. Sutter, Hirsch, Weise & Tillman, for petitioners.

Penny P. Spiewak, with her, B. Kirk Holman, for respondent, James Geisel.

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

Author: Palladino

[ 90 Pa. Commw. Page 549]

National Mines Corporation and its insurance carrier Old Republic Companies (Petitioners) have appealed

[ 90 Pa. Commw. Page 550]

    an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) which affirmed a referee's decision to set aside a final receipt and grant an award of compensation benefits to James Geisel (Claimant).

The referee found that Claimant sustained a work related injury to his lower back on October 28, 1977. Claimant received compensation benefits for this injury until he returned to work on April 7, 1980. Claimant subsequently signed a final receipt on April 14, 1980. As a result of an incident at work on January 30, 1981, Claimant's disability recurred. Although the referee in his findings fails to identify the incident which resulted in the recurrence of Claimant's disability, our review of the record indicates that Claimant was "jostled" while operating a motor. The referee found that as a result of this incident, Claimant became totally disabled as of January 30, 1981.

Claimant originally filed a claim petition which, at the hearing before the referee, was amended to a petition to set aside a final receipt. Based on the above facts, the referee granted the petition to set aside the final receipt and reinstated compensation benefits as of January 30, 1981. Petitioners then appealed to the Board which affirmed the referee's decision.

Before this Court Petitioners contend: (1) that Claimant failed to meet his burden of proving that his disability had not in fact terminated when the final receipt was executed; and (2) that the referee's finding that Claimant's disability had recurred on January 30, 1981 is not supported by substantial evidence.

In a workmen's compensation case where, as here, the party with the burden of proof prevails before the referee and the Board takes no additional evidence, this Court's scope of review is limited to a determination of whether any ...


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