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BETHUEL DAVIS v. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (GRATERFORD PRISON) (05/14/86)

decided: May 14, 1986.

BETHUEL DAVIS, PETITIONER
v.
WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (GRATERFORD PRISON), RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board, in case of Bethuel Davis v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, No. A-84399.

COUNSEL

Lee B. Balefsky, Greitzer and Locks, for petitioner.

Picard Losier, with him, Paul Dufallo and John Veith, Assistant Chief Counsel, for respondents.

Judges Rogers and Doyle, and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers.

Author: Rogers

[ 97 Pa. Commw. Page 238]

Bethuel Davis (claimant) appeals from a decision of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (board)

[ 97 Pa. Commw. Page 239]

    affirming the decision of the referee denying his petition for reinstatement of compensation.

The claimant was employed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, at SCI-Graterford (employer), as a Correctional Officer I in the classified service. On September 25, 1972, he was assigned work as instructor and supervisor of inmates in pest control and extermination. These duties were foreign to the stated duties of the claimant's job classification. On December 22, 1976, the claimant was injured in an automobile accident in the course of his work as a pest control instructor and supervisor and sustained injuries to his back, neck and shoulders, for which he received compensation for temporary total disability at a rate of $183.73 per week from December 23, 1976 to February 22, 1977 inclusive.

The claimant returned to work for the employer on February 23, 1977 and compensation was suspended. He continued to perform the duties of instructor and supervisor of pest control and extermination which he was able to do because the inmates did the actual physical labor and the claimant was able to discharge his duties while seated.

On September 1, 1977, the claimant was assigned to the more strenuous work of a correctional officer apparently by reason of directives requiring persons to perform the duties of their classification in the service. He was required to stand most of the time, supervise inmates, break up fights and attend the security gate, which included closing and opening the heavy gate doors. He repeatedly complained to the employer that he could not perform these duties. However, he continued this work until March 1, 1978 when he retired because of his inability to perform this work. The claimant then filed a petition for reinstatement of compensation benefits for total disability.

[ 97 Pa. Commw. Page 240]

In refusing the claimant reinstatement, the referee ...


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