Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in the case of James Tarr v. Kayro Precision Casting Corporation, No. A-87174.
Miriam Reimel, for petitioner.
Picard Losier, with him, Paul Dufallo and John Veith, for respondent, Kayro Precision Casting Corporation.
Judges Rogers and MacPhail, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.
[ 95 Pa. Commw. Page 295]
James Tarr (Claimant) appeals from a decision of the Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) which affirmed a referee's decision.
Claimant worked as a grinding wheel operator for Kayro Precision Casting Corp. (Employer). His work responsibilities included lifting and carrying, via a hand truck, metal castings contained in a barrel to
[ 95 Pa. Commw. Page 296]
the wheel. On December 4, 1978, Claimant was pushing a barrel full of castings on its edge in order to place the handcart underneath the barrel when he felt a sharp pain in his lower back. He called his union president who also worked on Employer's premises, who in turn called the supervisor. Claimant's supervisor took Claimant to Lower Bucks Hospital in Ponstol, Pennsylvania. At the hospital, a doctor examined Claimant and prescribed medication. Claimant did not return to work that day.
Because the medication did not relieve Claimant's pain, he went to see Dr. Kun H. Cho, who admitted him to the Helene Fuld Hospital in Trenton, New Jersey. On December 7, 1978, Dr. Cho diagnosed Claimant as suffering from lower back syndrome due to trauma and a possible herniated disc. Claimant was released from the hospital on December 18, 1978, but continued out-patient treatment with Dr. Cho.
In early January, 1979, Claimant's father, who lived in Liberia, died and Claimant went to Liberia to take care of family business. Claimant remained in Liberia until September of 1980. While in Liberia, Claimant was under the care of a Dr. Karpeh, and Claimant alleges that he did not work in Liberia because of continuing pain.
When Claimant returned from Liberia, he went to see Dr. Cho, who again examined Claimant and concluded that Claimant was in exactly the same condition he was prior to his trip to Liberia. Dr. Cho prescribed medication for Claimant, and on September 29, 1980, Dr. Cho advised Claimant he could return to work for light duty, specifying that Claimant not lift more than twenty-five pounds.
Claimant filed a claim petition on March 2, 1981 alleging that he was totally disabled due to his back injury from December 4, 1978 to the present. A hearing was held on April 23, 1981, at which time Claimant
[ 95 Pa. Commw. Page 297]
testified as to the onset of his injury. He testified that the combined weight of the metal castings and hand truck was more than 200-300 pounds. Claimant also testified that he was detained in Liberia for approximately seventeen months due to a revolution which prevented Claimant's ...