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JOYCE PATE v. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (BOEING VERTOL COMPANY) (03/10/87)

decided: March 10, 1987.

JOYCE PATE, PETITIONER
v.
WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (BOEING VERTOL COMPANY), RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board, in the case of Joyce Pate v. Boeing Vertol Company, No. A-88485.

COUNSEL

Larry Pitt, for petitioner.

Clifford A. Goldstein, Rawle & Henderson, Of Counsel: Peter J. Weber and Paul M. Roadarmel, for respondent, Boeing Vertol Company.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr., Judge Barry, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by President Judge Crumlish, Jr.

Author: Crumlish

[ 104 Pa. Commw. Page 482]

Joyce Pate appeals a Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board order which reversed a referee's decision and

[ 104 Pa. Commw. Page 483]

    denied compensation based on a psychiatric disability. We affirm.

Pate, an electronics assembler at Boeing Vertol, was required to work with small components and wires in the manufacture of helicopter parts. Pate suffered from a pre-existing schizophrenic condition for which she had been receiving psychiatric treatment. The referee made findings of fact indicating that Pate suffered an exacerbation of her schizophrenic condition due to her supervisor's repeated rejection of her work on certain electronic components.*fn1 The Board reversed the referee's

[ 104 Pa. Commw. Page 484]

    compensation award, finding that Pate's mental injury was a subjective reaction to a normal work situation.*fn2

Pate contends initially that the Board erred*fn3 because she has adequately pinpointed the cause of her psychiatric disability based upon an objective reaction to an abnormal working condition. Thomas v. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Atlantic Refining Co.), 55 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 449, 423 A.2d 784 (1980).

In Thomas this Court held that a claimant's subjective reaction to a normal work condition is not a compensable injury. We further interpreted this standard in Hirschberg v. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Department of Transportation), 81 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 579, 474 A.2d 82 (1984), where we held that a claimant's distorted, subjective perceptions are not sufficient ...


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