Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Amber C. White v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation, No. A-87091.
Michael D. Sherman, Fried, Kane, Walters & Zuschlag, for petitioner.
Patrick F. McArdle, McArdle, Caroselli, Spagnolli & Beachler, for respondent, Amber C. White.
Judges Doyle and Palladino, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Barbieri.
[ 92 Pa. Commw. Page 319]
Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation, Employer, appeals here the order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) which affirmed a referee's order awarding compensation benefits and assessing counsel fees against the Employer for the failure of a reasonable contest under Section 440 of the Workmen's Compensation Act (Act),*fn1 77 P.S. § 996.
The Claimant in this case, Amber C. White, suffered a back injury in the course of her employment on September 3, 1981, while lifting garbage cans, each weighing approximately 100 pounds. She reported immediately to the Employer's dispensary where she continued to be treated, also continuing to work until September 29, 1981, when her suffering required her
[ 92 Pa. Commw. Page 320]
to discontinue her duties. Instead of paying workmen's compensation benefits, which Claimant requested, Employer denied compensation benefits and instead arranged for payments to her under Employer's sickness and accident benefit insurance to the total of $9,984.00,*fn2 for which subrogation against its liability under the Act was subsequently granted by the referee. At the several hearings held before the referee from January 8, 1982 to September 26, 1983, the reports of Dr. Herman I. Switkes, plant physician, and other medical witnesses to whom the Claimant had been referred by Employer's attending physicians and medical advisors were received in evidence, all favorable to the Claimant. The following findings are all supported by substantial evidence:
14. That the claimant was examined by Dr. Palmer, a board certified specialist in neurosurgery, on November 24, 1982. He recommended admission to the Mercy Hospital for testing and evaluation.
15. That the claimant was hospitalized in the Mercy Hospital from December 5, 1982 thru December 16, 1982 under the care of Drs. Gray, Hershey, Palmer, Nayak and Lyons. A CT scan, myelogram and EMG studies were performed and all were interpreted as within normal limits. On December 10, 1982 she was transferred to the Rehabilitation Service under
[ 92 Pa. Commw. Page 321]
the care of Dr. Jane G. Phillips, a board certified specialist in physical ...