Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in the case of Thomas Tanski v. DeBaldo Brothers, Inc., No. A-86500.
Thomas P. Geer, for petitioner.
No appearance for respondent.
Judges Craig and Palladino, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.
[ 95 Pa. Commw. Page 557]
Thomas Tanski appeals from an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board which affirmed a referee's decision dismissing Tanski's petition for reinstatement. We affirm.
Tanski was employed by DeBaldo Brothers, Inc. from 1969 to 1979 as a heavy equipment operator. From October 6, 1976 to December 20, 1976, Tanski did not work because his physician advised him to avoid any further exposure to work-generated stress and prescribed a major tranquilizer. Thereafter, Tanski filed a claim petition alleging that the stress injury was work-related. After a hearing, a referee found that Tanski's stress injury was work-related and awarded benefits for a period of 10 and 5/7 weeks. The referee's decision was affirmed by the board and this court.*fn1
On November 23, 1981, Tanski filed a petition for reinstatement of the then-expired benefits. After a hearing, a referee found that Tanski failed to prove that the cause of the recurrence was the 1976 injury. The board affirmed and this appeal followed.
Tanski contends that the decision is in error because the referee is precluded by collateral estoppel from rejecting the causative factor that he found in the earlier case.
[ 95 Pa. Commw. Page 558]
In McCarthy v. Township of McCandless, 7 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 611, 618-19, 300 A.2d 815, 820-21 (1973) we stated:
In the development and application of collateral estoppel, Pennsylvania courts have adhered to the general rule set forth in § 68(1) of the Restatement of Judgments: 'Where a question of fact essential to the judgment is actually litigated and determined by a valid and final judgment, the determination is conclusive between the parties in a subsequent action on a different cause of action. . . .'
From this rule the courts have directly noted several basic requirements. Where the second action between the same parties is upon a different claim or demand, the judgment in the prior action operates as an estoppel in the second action only as to those matters in issue that (1) are identical; (2) were actually litigated; (3) were essential to ...