Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in the case of Howard Painter v. Universal Cyclops, No. A-83752.
Amiel B. Caramanna, Jr., with him, Alexander J. Pentecost, for petitioner.
Jerry S. McDevitt, Kirkpatrick, Lockhart, Johnson & Hutchison, for respondent, Universal Cyclops.
Judges Doyle and Palladino, and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino.
Howard Painter (Claimant) appeals from an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) which affirmed, as modified, a referee's decision awarding compensation to Claimant for a specific
loss under Section 306(c) of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act (Act).*fn1
On December 7, 1979, Claimant was injured in the course of his employment as a drill press operator with Universal Cyclops (Employer) when his left arm was crushed by a drill press. Pursuant to a notice of compensation payable, Claimant received compensation for total disability for this injury. The nature of the injury was listed as "crush injury, left forearm." On October 15, 1980, Claimant filed a review petition seeking specific loss of use of his left arm for all practical intents and purposes. Based on the testimony of Claimant's medical expert, the referee found that as of April 1, 1981, Claimant has suffered the permanent loss of use of his left forearm, wrist and hand for all practical intents and purposes and that this specific loss was caused by his December 7, 1979 injury. The referee further found that this specific loss is in addition to his total disability resulting from the "hand-shoulder syndrome" caused by the December 7, 1979 injury. Based on these findings, the referee awarded Claimant 370 weeks of compensation for the specific loss of use of his left forearm. The referee refused to award the Employer a credit for temporary total disability benefits paid to Claimant prior to April 1, 1981 based on his conclusion that Claimant suffered "other injuries" to his left shoulder which have disabled him.
On appeal, the Board affirmed the referee's granting of Claimant's review petition for the specific loss of his left forearm. However, the Board concluded that the Employer is entitled to a credit for compensation already paid to Claimant inasmuch as the injury was to the same member arising out of the same accident.
Before this Court, Claimant contends that because his temporary total disability resulted from a separate and distinct injury to his left shoulder, the Board erred in awarding a credit to the Employer for benefits paid to him as a result of this disability.
Thus, the sole issue for our determination is whether a claimant who suffered a "crush injury" to his left forearm for which he received temporary total disability benefits, may, in addition to these benefits, receive specific loss benefits ...