Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board, in case of Hubert Stanaitis v. Irvin & Schwertner, Inc., No. A-87488.
Charles S. Katz, Jr., Swartz, Campbell & Detweiler, for petitioner.
Larry Pitt, for respondent.
President Judge Crumlish, Jr., Judge Barry, and Senior Judge Rogers, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Rogers.
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Irvin and Schwertner, Inc. (employer) filed a petition for review of the order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board), affirming a referee's decision granting compensation benefits to Herbert Stanaitis (claimant).
The claimant worked for the employer as a millwright installing heavy machinery at the final average weekly wage of $520.80. On Friday, May 15, 1981 the claimant experienced severe chest pains as he and his co-workers were lifting steel pipe guards weighing between
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and 300 lbs. He told his foreman about the pain and though still in pain, finished out the work day. He went home and rested all weekend. The claimant went to his treating cardiologist, Dr. Frank Rosenberg, on Monday, May 18, 1981. He was admitted to Crozer-Chester Medical Center where he underwent tests and a catheterization. He was released from Crozer-Chester Medical Center on May 30, 1981. On June 25, 1981, the claimant was admitted to the University of Pennsylvania Hospital where he underwent a mitral valve replacement and coronary artery bypass grafting, performed by Dr. Alden H. Harken. The claimant has not returned to work since May 15, 1981.
On September 14, 1981 the claimant filed a claim petition. Subsequently hearings were held before a referee who made the following findings of fact:
2. On May 15, 1981 while in the course and scope of his employment with the defendant, the claimant lifted heavy metal pipe guards weighing between 200 and 300 pounds and immediately experienced severe pain in his chest.
4. The claimant testified in his own behalf and presented medical testimony in support of his claim by Dr. Victor Digilio. Dr. Digilio made a diagnosis of coronary insufficiency which he believed was materially aggravated by the stress involved in the work incident on May 15, 1981. Dr. Digilio further believed that as a result of the aggravation of the claimant's coronary insufficiency, the claimant had been disabled from returning to his work duties for the defendant.
5. Though the Referee recognizes that conflicting medical opinions were produced by the defendant, the Referee chooses to resolve the conflict by finding the opinion of Dr. Victor
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Digilio to be most credible and convincing and rejecting the medical opinions to the contrary.
6. The Referee thereby finds as a fact that as a result of the claimant's lifting incident at work on May 15, 1981, the claimant materially aggravated his coronary insufficiency which has resulted in his disability to return to his work ...