Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Robert L. Cantrell v. City of Clariton, No. A-82435.
H. Reginald Belden, Jr., Stewart, Belden, Herrington and Belden, for petitioner.
Alexander J. Pentecost, with him, Amiel B. Caramanna, Jr., for respondent, Robert L. Cantrell.
Mark Gordon, Meyer, Darragh, Buckler, Bebenek & Eck, for respondent, Rockwood Insurance Company.
Judges Craig and MacPhail, and Senior Judge Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.
[ 96 Pa. Commw. Page 191]
The City of Clairton (Clairton) and the Westmoreland Casualty Company (Westmoreland), who will also be jointly referenced herein as the petitioners, petition for review of the order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) affirming the decision of a referee awarding benefits to Robert L. Cantrell (claimant). The benefits awarded were for total disability, beginning September 16, 1975, with a suspension of benefits from November 16, 1975 to November 6, 1976. The referee also dismissed the Rockwood Insurance Company (Rockwood) from liability for benefits awarded.
The claimant, a Clairton police officer, answered a call on July 3, 1975 concerning a large man who had collapsed at his home. After lifting the stricken man into a bed, the claimant ran to his car for an oxygen tank,
[ 96 Pa. Commw. Page 192]
called an ambulance and later assisted in carrying the man to the ambulance. Subsequent to these exertions, the claimant developed a cold sweat and experienced chest pains. On July 7, 1975, he and another officer responded to a call which required them to lift a very heavy woman into an ambulance and, subsequently, he again experienced chest pains. The claimant did not work again until August 6, 1975 when, due to a manpower shortage, he was recalled to a desk job. Upon assuming these duties, however, he began to experience chest pains which radiated into his arms. He was hospitalized in intensive care at that time and did not report to work again until November 16, 1975, when he resumed his desk job.
During the periods when the claimant was absent from work between July 3, 1975 and September 16, 1975, he utilized his paid sick leave. Between September 16, 1975 and November 16, 1975, however, he received no salary or benefits.
He continued to work at his desk assignment until November 6, 1976, when he was assaulted, while on duty, by an intoxicated person who pulled him over a desk, fighting and wrestling with him. After this incident, the claimant immediately experienced weakness and felt faint. His supervisor advised him to go home due to his condition and he has not worked since that day. The next day he was hospitalized and had a cardiac catheterization. He later had a triple bypass operation. On May 14, 1977, he sustained multiple cardiac arrests and again was hospitalized for twenty-one days.
The petitioners initially contend that the medical evidence presented by the claimant is not unequivocal and so does not establish the causal connection between his ...