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ROBERT J. BRUCKNER v. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (LANCASTER AREA VO-TECH) (03/03/87)

decided: March 3, 1987.

ROBERT J. BRUCKNER, PETITIONER
v.
WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (LANCASTER AREA VO-TECH), RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in the case of Robert J. Bruckner v. Lancaster Area Vo-Tech, No. A-85411.

COUNSEL

Daniel J. Allan, for petitioner.

Niki Ingram, with her, Amy Sassler, for respondent, Lancaster Area Vo-Tech.

Judges MacPhail and Barry, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Barbieri.

Author: Barbieri

[ 104 Pa. Commw. Page 291]

Before this Court in this workmen's compensation case is the petition of Robert J. Bruckner, Claimant, seeking review of an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board), which sustained a referee's decision disallowing compensation benefits. We will affirm.

Basically, the findings of Referee Troilo establish that on June 2, 1977 Claimant, an Instructor in Commercial Arts for the Employer, Lancaster Area Vo-Tech, suffered an emotional reaction to an event that took place in his classroom which is described by Referee Troilo as follows:

3. On June 2, 1977, Claimant alleged that a young man who was not a student in his class came into his classroom, asked permission to get a musical record that belonged to his brother, and went into one of the drawers in one of the classroom's tables. Claimant testified: '. . . it seemed that everyone was taking issue with -- factions had apparently been growing, which I

[ 104 Pa. Commw. Page 292]

    knew nothing about; and there were charges and countercharges concerning the right to a possession of a record. Anyway, the voices got more than loud, and the language got pretty bad, and there were threats made. I frankly thought that it got beyond me to handle it. I don't know whether it was coincidental or I can't remember whether I had called on the loud speaker for some assistance, but it wasn't long thereafter that the assistant principal -- his name was Swarr -- entered the room. It got to be pretty bad, and I felt helpless in the matter. I didn't know whether the threats were directed at me or what, but I found myself in the middle.'

4. Claimant testified that after the incident, he began to shake, that he never remembered shaking before, that his voice was stammering, and that he didn't have control of himself.

R.R. 360a.

Claimant resumed teaching in September of 1977, losing very few days. On January 26, 1978, Claimant suffered another breakdown similar to that following the incident on June 2, 1977, this one resulting from the occurence of a tour of his classroom, something that occurred rather routinely. He became ...


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