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TESCO TANK CENTER v. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (ZMARZLEY (07/20/87)

decided: July 20, 1987.

TESCO TANK CENTER, INC., PETITIONER
v.
WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (ZMARZLEY, JR.)



Appeal from the order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Victor Zmarzley, Jr., v. Tesco Tank Center, Inc., No. A-87982.

COUNSEL

Michael P. Shay, Shay & Santee, for petitioner.

Wilbur C. Creveling, Jr., Creveling & Creveling, for respondent.

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

Author: Doyle

[ 107 Pa. Commw. Page 470]

This is an appeal by Tesco Tank Center, Inc. (Employer) from an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) which affirmed a determination of a referee granting benefits for the specific loss of an eye to Victor Zmarzley, Jr., (Claimant).

The factual findings are undisputed. Claimant was employed by Employer on September 24, 1981 when a work-related injury occurred. Specifically, a foreign object penetrated Claimant's left eye. On September 24, Claimant was hospitalized in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for the injury. He was subsequently taken to Wills Eye Hospital (Wills) in Philadelphia for surgery and repair of the wound and the removal of the foreign object. A few days later Claimant developed a traumatic cataract

[ 107 Pa. Commw. Page 471]

    which was removed in surgery at Wills. Claimant's uncorrected vision since his surgery is less than the level of legal blindness, but with a corrective lens his vision is 20/20, and, apparently, he has binocular vision when the corrective lens is worn.

The referee granted Claimant benefits for the specific loss of an eye, and the Board affirmed. Employer's petition to this Court ensued.

This Court has previously set forth the relevant legal inquiry for determining whether a claimant has incurred the specific loss of an eye. We said in Hershey Estates v. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board, 9 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 470, 308 A.2d 637 (1973):

The standard to be applied in the determination of whether compensation for the specific loss of the use of an eye is due, where the eye has been injured but not entirely destroyed, has been the subject of numerous and lengthy opinions. . . . The ultimate test finally arrived at, after much travail, is that of whether the injured eye was lost for all practical intents and purposes, not whether claimant in fact has vision in the injured eye. In facilitation of the application of the ultimate test, a further standard has been adopted: Compensation may not be had if, using both eyes, the claimant can see better, in general, than by using the uninjured eye alone . . . or, as ...


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