Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in the case of Walter E. Bauer v. Ram Construction Company, Inc., No. A-89185.
Richard C. Schomaker, for petitioner.
J. Lawson Johnston, with him, Eugene F. Scanlon, Jr., Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote, P.C., for respondents.
Judges Craig and Doyle, and Senior Judge Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.
[ 102 Pa. Commw. Page 27]
In this workmen's compensation case, the claimant, Walter E. Bauer, appeals the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board's affirmance of a referee's dismissal of his claim for compensation for the specific loss of his right eye. We affirm.
According to the referee's findings, the claimant injured his right eye while working as a mechanic on March 3, 1980. He received compensation for total disability until he returned to work on June 30, 1980. He then submitted a claim petition for the specific loss of his right eye under section 306(c) of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act, Act of June 2, 1915, P.L. 736, as amended, 77 P.S. § 513. Initially, the referee ruled that the claimant did not meet his burden of establishing entitlement to compensation for a specific loss because his medical expert did not provide sufficient data about the binocular incapabilities of the claimant's uncorrected right eye.
The board remanded the claim to the referee to develop a record on the precise issue of the claimant's binocular incapabilities. The parties agree that the relevant inquiry is whether the use of the uncorrected injured eye contributes materially to the claimant's vision in conjunction with the use of the uninjured eye. Miller v. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (CertainTeed Corp.), 91 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 253, 496 A.2d 1337 (1985).
At the remand hearing, counsel elicited testimony from two of the claimant's treating physicians and from an independent ophthalmologist who had examined the claimant. The referee, after hearing the testimony from each doctor, found that:
The use of the right eye without correction, contributes materially to claimant's vision in conjunction with the use of the other eye.
[ 102 Pa. Commw. Page 28]
The use of the right eye in conjunction with the left eye does not contribute to claimant's central vision.
The use of the right eye in conjunction with the left eye does contribute substantially, significantly, and materially to the claimant's peripheral vision. The benefit to the claimant from the aid to peripheral vision resulting from the use of the right eye as uncorrected, is of such benefit that we are unable to find ...