Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board, in case of Edwin Murray v. Liberty Ford Truck Sales, Inc., No. PE 4787.
William F. Sweeney, with him, Alfonso M. Salazar, Schubert, Bellwoar, Mallon & Walheim, for petitioner.
Thomas F. McDevitt, Thomas F. McDevitt, P.C., for respondent, Edwin M. Murray.
Judges Craig and Doyle, and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.
[ 105 Pa. Commw. Page 126]
Liberty Ford Truck Sales, Inc. (Employer) petitions for review of an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) denying its petition for a second physical examination of Edwin M. Murray (Claimant), an injured employee. We affirm.
Claimant in January 1984 injured his lower back during the course of his employment with Employer, and began receiving workmen's compensation benefits for total disability in February 1984. On January 4, 1985, Claimant filed a petition with the Bureau of Workers' Compensation, alleging that Employer had illegally stopped payment of benefits and Claimant's medical bills. A hearing was held before a referee, who on March 12, 1985 found that Claimant continued to be totally disabled; that he required continuing medical treatment for his back injury; and that Claimant had a necessary, fair and reasonable medical expense of $2,120. The referee ordered Employer to continue paying benefits and Claimant's medical expenses. This order was not appealed by Employer.
On April 1, 1985, however, Employer filed a petition with the Board to compel a medical examination of Claimant, even though Claimant had been examined previously by Employer's doctor in April 1984. Employer's express purpose in requesting the second examination was to determine the reasonableness and causal relationship of the $2,120 medical bill to Claimant's injury.
Claimant filed an Answer*fn1 to Employer's petition on April 10, 1985, and on December 31, 1985, the Board
[ 105 Pa. Commw. Page 127]
summarily denied Employer's petition. Employer petitions this Court for review of the Board's order.
In brief, Employer argues that the Board violated Sections 414 and 418 of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act (Act)*fn2 in denying its petition for a second medical examination. Section 414 of the Act, 77 P.S. § 775, provides in pertinent part: "[w]henever a claim petition or other petition is presented to the department, the department shall, by general rules or special order, assign it to a referee for a hearing." Section 418 of the Act, 77 P.S. § 833, states:
The referee to whom a petition is assigned for hearing, may subpoena witnesses, order the production of books and other writings, and hear evidence, shall make a record of hearings, and shall make, in writing and as soon as may be after the conclusion of the hearing, such findings of fact, conclusions of law, and award or disallowance of compensation or other order, as the petition and answers ...