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JOAN BASSETT v. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION CITY PHILADELPHIA (09/08/86)

decided: September 8, 1986.

JOAN BASSETT, APPELLANT
v.
CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, in case of Joan Bassett v. Civil Service Commission of the City of Philadelphia, No. 6085 August Term, 1982.

COUNSEL

John Mattioni, with him, Francis X. Kelly, Mattioni, Mattioni & Mattioni, Ltd., for appellant.

Barbara W. Mather, City Solicitor, with her, Halmon L. Banks, III, Assistant City Solicitor, for appellee.

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

Author: Colins

[ 100 Pa. Commw. Page 357]

Joan Bassett (appellant), a prison nurse with the City of Philadelphia (employer), appeals an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County affirming the denial of her claim for compensation under Regulation 32*fn1 of the Civil Service Commission of Philadelphia (Commission), subsection 32-022 of which provides compensation for injury "caused by accident . . . which is service connected."

Appellant had been employed at the Philadelphia Detention Center since 1973. On July 30, 1976, appellant injured her hip when she fell from a swivel chair onto the floor. She was off work for five days following the incident but continued working until March 6,

[ 100 Pa. Commw. Page 3581977]

, at which time she suffered severe pain in her hip while at home and was, thereafter, unable to continue her employment. Appellant had a history of hip problems and had undergone a total hip replacement in January, 1972.

An administrative hearing board determined that appellant's total disability*fn2 was not service-connected and denied compensation. The Commission affirmed, upon finding that appellant's disabling incident, occurring on March 6, 1977 while appellant was at home over the weekend, was too temporally remote from her injury at work to establish the causal connection requisite to an award of compensation. Appellant appealed this decision to the Court of Common Pleas.

While the appeal was pending, appellant was awarded workmen's compensation benefits for total disability pursuant to the Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act (Act).*fn3 This decision was not appealed. On January 29, 1982, the Court of Common Pleas remanded the matter to the Commission to determine the applicability of the doctrine of collateral estoppel relative to the appellant's award of workmen's compensation benefits, citing Pasquarello v. Civil Service Commission, City of Philadelphia, 52 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 494, 416 A.2d 106 (1980). The Commission affirmed its prior decision, holding that the doctrine of collateral estoppel does not contemplate retroactive application, and that causes of action under Regulation 32 and the Act are sufficiently different so as to justify distinct factual findings in concurrent proceedings. Appellant now appeals the Court of Common Pleas' affirmance of the Commission's decision.

[ 100 Pa. Commw. Page 359]

Upon appeal, the appellant contends that: (1) the determination by the workmen's compensation referee that appellant's disability was work-related must collaterally estop a different determination by the Commission, and (2) the Commission's determination ...


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