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RICHARD PASQUARELLO v. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (BECHTEL POWER CORP.) (05/19/86)

decided: May 19, 1986.

RICHARD PASQUARELLO, PETITIONER
v.
WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (BECHTEL POWER CORP.), RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board, in case of Richard Pasquarello v. Bechtel Power Corp., No. A-87842.

COUNSEL

Lawrence A. Ruth, for petitioner.

Charles S. Katz, Jr., Swartz, Campbell & Detweiler, for respondent, Bechtel Power Corporation.

Judges Craig and Barry, and Senior Judge Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.

Author: Craig

[ 97 Pa. Commw. Page 308]

Richard Pasquarello appeals from a Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board decision which affirmed a referee's granting of employer Bechtel Power Corporation's petition to modify claimant's status from totally disabled to partially disabled.

In February 1979, the claimant, during the course of his employment, suffered a herniated disc in his lower back. Consequently, pursuant to a notice of compensation payable, the claimant received total disability benefits at the rate of $227 per week. Alleging that the claimant could return to limited work as of October 5, 1981, the employer filed a petition for suspension or modification as of that date.

Before the referee, the parties presented contradictory evidence as to whether the claimant was capable of employment. The claimant's treating physician testified that the claimant was incapable of performing any work. However, the employer, through the deposition of a Dr. Murray Glickman, presented testimony that the claimant was able to do light work in a full-time capacity. The referee resolved the conflicting testimony in favor of the employer and granted the employer's petition.

Where, as here, the party with the burden of proof has prevailed before the compensation authorities, our scope of review is limited to a determination of whether constitutional rights were violated, an error of law was

[ 97 Pa. Commw. Page 309]

    committed, or findings of fact were not supported by substantial evidence. United States Steel Corporation v. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board, 52 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 641, 416 A.2d 619 (1980).

Here, the claimant contends the referee committed an error of law by permitting the employer's doctor to testify through a deposition, rather than to appear before the referee. Specifically, the claimant argues that section 422 of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act*fn1 barred the referee from accepting the employer's physician's testimony by deposition ...


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