Appeals from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Sandra Lee March v. School District of Philadelphia, Nos. 87704 and CCA-87803.
Christina J. Barbieri, for employe.
John C. Janos, with him, Francine T. Lincicome, for employer.
Judges Craig and Doyle, and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.
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Before this court are the cross-appeals of the claimant, Sandra Lee March, and the employer, School District of Philadelphia, from an order*fn1 of the Workmen's Compensation Board of Review reversing a referee's decisions in part. Specifically, the board affirmed the referee's permanent disfigurement award and the referee's determination that there had been a reasonable contest in that disfigurement proceeding. The board also affirmed the referee's assessment of a 10% penalty upon the employer for unreasonable delay. However, the board reversed the referee's determination that there had been an unreasonable contest in the disability case, and the board also reduced the school district's credit for sickness and accident benefits paid from 100% to 50%. Additionally, the board determined that the employer had not acted in violation of the law.
On appeal, the claimant is challenging the board's disfigurement award for her scar, and also the board's
[ 109 Pa. Commw. Page 466]
assessment of only a 10% penalty, asserting that she is entitled to a 20% penalty assessment. Additionally, the claimant challenges the board's determination that there had been a reasonable contest relating to the claimant's disability. On the other hand, the school district is challenging the board's determination that the school district was entitled to only 50% credit for sickness and accident benefits paid to the claimant during her disability. Additionally, the school district challenges the imposition of a penalty amount on a "per annum" basis.
According to the referee's findings of fact, the claimant worked as a special education teacher for mentally retarded children in the Life Skills Program for the school district. On March 10, 1981, the claimant sustained a work-related injury in the course and scope of her employment. Unknown assailants had assaulted the claimant while she was en route to a bank near the school during an allotted preparation period. The claimant suffered a cerebral concussion, injuries to teeth and jaw, fractures of face and cheek and permanent injuries to eye and face and numbness. The claimant was temporarily and totally disabled from March 10, 1981 through October 21, 1981 when she regained the ability to return to work.
From March 11, 1981 to April 22, 1981, from May 1, 1981 to June 30, 1981, and from September 1, 1981 to October 21, 1981, the claimant received from the school district's insurance carrier payments equal to or in excess of that to which she would have been entitled under The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act.*fn2
This court's scope of review of the following issues is limited to determining whether there has been a constitutional violation or an error of law, and whether substantial
[ 109 Pa. Commw. Page 467]
evidence supports the findings of fact. Estate of McGovern v. State Employees' Retirement Board, 51 ...