Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in the case of Elizabeth Hrabovecky v. Mardee Sportswear -- Myra Cohn, and Franglo, Inc., No. A-87317.
Brian C. Corcoran, for petitioner.
James E. Pocius, Lenahan & Dempsey, P.C., for respondents.
Judges Barry and Palladino, and Senior Judge Rogers, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Rogers.
[ 98 Pa. Commw. Page 328]
Mardee Sportswear (petitioner or Mardee) has filed a petition for review of an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (board) affirming a referee's order granting the petition for reinstatement of benefits filed by its former employee, Elizabeth Hrabovecky (claimant), who last worked for the petitioner on December 11, 1977.
This is a dispute between two of the claimant's employers, the petitioner, Mardee Sportswear, her employer when she sustained an injury to her right knee on June 24, 1976, and the respondent, Franglo, Inc. (Franglo), who employed her from June 1979 until September 1981.
In Lackawanna Refuse v. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Christiano), 74 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 286, 288, 459 A.2d 899, 900 (1983), we stated that "[i]t is clear that whether a disability results from a new injury . . . or is a recurrence of a prior work-related condition . . . is a question of fact to be determined by the referee."
The claimant fell and injured her right knee on June 24, 1976, while in the course of her employment as a clothes presser for Mardee. After hearings, a referee issued a decision on October 19, 1978, in which he found that the claimant had sustained a compensable injury as
[ 98 Pa. Commw. Page 329]
a result of the fall and that she was totally disabled from December 11, 1977 through June 16, 1978. The referee awarded her benefits payable by Mardee during this period.
On October 23, 1981, the claimant filed a petition for reinstatement of benefits, naming Mardee as the defendant employer and alleging that her "disability, as a result of the injury of June 24, 1976, recurred on September 25, 1981, at which date she once again became totally disabled."
Mardee filed a petition to join Franglo as an additional defendant, alleging that the claimant "aggravated her pre-existing knee condition in the course of her employment for the additional defendant from June 26, 1979 to September 25, 1981" and "that the additional defendant is responsible for any disability which the claimant alleges she suffered from September 25, 1981." The claimant had worked for Franglo as a clothes ...