Appeals from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Adolfo Tribuzio v. Carmen Paliotta General Construction, No. A-89247.
David M. McCloskey, Will, Keisling, Ganassi & McCloskey, for Carmen Paliotta General Construction and Federal Insurance Company, for petitioner/respondent.
William J. Begley, Cauley, Conflenti & Latella, for Adolpho Tribuzio, for respondent/petitioner.
President Judge Crumlish, Jr., and Judge Palladino, and Senior Judge Narick, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino.
[ 107 Pa. Commw. Page 144]
Adolfo Tribuzio (Claimant) appeals a decision of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board which affirmed a referee's determination that his work related disability had ceased on July 19, 1983. In addition, Carmen Paliotta Construction Company (Employer), appeals the Board's modification of the referee's decision from termination to suspension of benefits. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.
On October 7, 1982, Claimant began receiving benefits for a compensable injury he sustained on September 17, 1982 when a wheelbarrow struck the anterior part of his lower leg, causing an ulcer to form at the trauma-site.
On November 28, 1983, Employer filed a petition for termination averring that Claimant's disability had ceased on September 27, 1983.
[ 107 Pa. Commw. Page 145]
At the hearing, both Claimant and Employer presented the depositions and medical reports of their respective examining physicians. Employer's physician, Dr. Robert F. Quinlin, examined Claimant on five separate occasions, the first shortly after Claimant's work injury and the last on July 19, 1983. He testified that Claimant suffered from a pre-existing condition known as chronic venous insufficiency of his lower extremities. This condition essentially means that there is an inadequate return of blood to the heart through the veins. Dr. Quinlin stated that when the wheelbarrow struck Claimant's leg, an ulcer formed at the point of impact causing Claimant's disability, and that due to the venous insufficiency, the ulcer took longer than normal to heal.
Dr. Quinlin further testified that when he examined Claimant in March of 1983, the wound had completely healed. Moreover, when asked whether as of his examination on July 19, 1983, Claimant had recovered from the injuries sustained in the wheelbarrow incident, Dr. Quinlin stated:*fn1
I feel that he should return to work. I felt that he was able to return to work based on my physical examination, which failed to uncover any significant findings that ought to keep him away from work. . . . I was concerned about the degree of pain that he was complaining of but could not support that degree of pain based on his physical findings. Based on my examination, I felt that he probably should return to work.
Finally, in a letter dated September 12, 1983,*fn2 Dr. Quinlin further elaborated on his ...