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CONNIE WADSWORTH v. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (CHAMPION PARTS REBUILDERS) (06/02/87)

decided: June 2, 1987.

CONNIE WADSWORTH, PETITIONER
v.
WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (CHAMPION PARTS REBUILDERS), RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Connie Wadsworth v. Champion Parts Rebuilders, No. A-87831.

COUNSEL

Clifford A. Rieders, Rieders, Travis, Mussina, Humphrey & Harris, for petitioner.

Michael H. Collins, McNerney, Page, Vanderlin & Hall, for respondent.

Judges Craig and Doyle, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.

Author: Craig

[ 106 Pa. Commw. Page 400]

Connie Wadsworth (now Connie Bitner), the claimant, appeals from an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board denying her petition for modification of compensation. We affirm.

According to the referee's findings of fact, the claimant sustained injuries to her neck, shoulder and arm and began receiving workmen's compensation on February 18, 1978. A referee later suspended the claimant's compensation as of December 19, 1978 because the claimant had returned to work at the same or greater wage than she had earned in her earlier employment.

[ 106 Pa. Commw. Page 401]

On March 20, 1980, a referee dismissed the claimant's petition for reinstatement on the ground that the claimant had failed to prove that her allegedly worsened disability was related to her February, 1978 injury. The board affirmed.

On January 13, 1982, the claimant filed a petition for modification -- presumably for reinstatement -- of compensation alleging that further surgery is necessary to treat her disability and that she would be incapable of working. The referee concluded that the claimant had failed to establish any recurrence of disability since the claimant's initial petition for reinstatement had been denied and therefore denied the petition for modification.

Our scope of review is limited to a determination of whether the board's order constitutes an error of law and whether the referee's findings of fact are supported by substantial evidence. Estate of Francis J. McGovern v. State Employees' Retirement Board, 512 Pa. 377, 517 A.2d 523 (1986).

The claimant contends that the following findings of fact, crucial to the referee's conclusions of law, are not supported by substantial evidence in the record.

29. That after reviewing all of the testimony and medical evidence and testimony presented, your Referee finds as a fact that the findings and ...


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