Appeal from the Order of the Crime Victim's Compensation Board, in case of In Re: Claim of Barbara Ann Gill Ortell, Claim No. 82-1219-B.
Peter B. Foster, Pinskey & Foster, for petitioner.
Gregory R. Neuhauser, Deputy Attorney General, with him, Allen C. Warshaw, Chief Deputy Attorney General, Chief, Litigation Section, and LeRoy S. Zimmerman, Attorney General, for respondent.
Judges Rogers and Barry, and Senior Judge Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Barry.
[ 97 Pa. Commw. Page 424]
This appeal results from an order of the Crime Victim's Compensation Board (Board), which denied a claim for compensation filed by the claimant, Barbara Ann Gill Ortell (petitioner).
Petitioner alleged in her original claim form that she had been assaulted by a neighbor and had suffered severe physical injuries and financial loss as a result. According to petitioner, the attack occurred after she received a harassing phone call from the neighbor, Albert West (West). In response to the call, petitioner went next door to West's residence to request that he cease
[ 97 Pa. Commw. Page 425]
the harassment. At this point, petitioner has alleged, West
opened the door & struck me in the chest & kicked [my] left thigh with a great force & I lost consciousness momentarily & went backwards on the cement. My head, cervical spine, thoracic spine, chest, heart[,] pelvis & left thigh was [sic] severly [sic] injured.
Petitioner further alleges that as she was struggling to stand up after the blow a police officer, Eugene Golla (Golla) appeared on the scene, but apparently took no action. (N.T., 9/19/84, at 5). Thereafter petitioner was taken to the emergency room, the records of which indicate findings of a sprain to the trapezius and a contusion to the lower back. Petitioner was, in any case, fitted with a cervical collar for two to three days use and was instructed to undergo conservative treatment of her injury.
Following her release, petitioner filed a criminal complaint against West before the Berwick Borough District Justice. After a hearing, the complaint was dismissed, the district justice in his report to the Board explaining that
[t]he testimony as to the alleged assault was conflicting and accordingly I ruled that the victim had not made out a prima facie case on the charge of Simple Assault and that she had not proven the charge or harassment beyond a reasonable doubt and accordingly found ...