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PAUL M. CICCIMARO v. CITY PHILADELPHIA (10/30/87)

decided: October 30, 1987.

PAUL M. CICCIMARO, APPELLANT
v.
CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, in case of Paul M. Ciccimaro v. The City of Philadelphia Law Department, No. 4728 March Term, 1986.

COUNSEL

Thomas F. McDevitt, Thomas F. McDevitt, P.C., for appellant.

Handsel Minyard, City Solicitor, with him, Carlton L. Johnson, Assistant City Solicitor, for appellee.

Judges Craig and MacPhail, and Senior Judge Narick, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Narick.

Author: Narick

[ 110 Pa. Commw. Page 575]

Paul M. Ciccimaro (Appellant) appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County which affirmed an order of the Philadelphia Civil Service Commission (Commission) denying disability benefits to Appellant under Philadelphia Civil Service Regulation 32.

Appellant was a fire fighter for the City of Philadelphia (Appellee) who injured his back on January 16, 1985 when transporting a patient to a rescue squad vehicle. He was placed on injured-on-duty status and received full wages in lieu of workmen's compensation. He received treatment at the City's Compensation Clinic until March 25, 1985 when he was ordered to perform light duty. After one and one-half days, he ceased working because of pain and was again placed on inactive status with benefits. He was again ordered to light duty on April 1, 1985; he worked for a short time that day, and requested another referral to the Compensation Clinic. He was placed on no duty status, and began a course of physical therapy treatment. On July 22, 1985, he was examined by a doctor at the Compensation

[ 110 Pa. Commw. Page 576]

Clinic and again ordered to perform light duty. He refused to return to work because of continuing pain. Benefits ceased, and appellant exercised his option to appeal under Civil Service Regulation 32.11. Following a hearing, the Commission denied benefits. The trial court, without taking additional evidence, affirmed.

Our scope of review where the trial court has limited itself to the record before the Commission is to determine whether the Commission's order violated Appellant's constitutional rights, whether the Commission manifestly abused its discretion or committed an error of law, or whether its decision was not based upon substantial evidence. Fitzgerald v. Philadelphia Civil Service Commission, 16 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 540, 330 A.2d 285 (1974); City of Philadelphia v. Hays, 13 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 621, 320 A.2d 406 (1974).

Regulation 32 is similar in intent and form to The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act (Act)*fn1 and this Court has held that the principles enunciated in interpreting the Act will apply to Regulation 32 where similar substantive issues are involved. Smith v. Civil Service Commission, City of Philadelphia, 53 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 164, 417 A.2d 810 (1980); Hays.

Appellant first argues that the Commission committed an error of law in not holding Appellee collaterally estopped from terminating his disability benefits by virtue of the existence of a Notice of Compensation Payable filed in a related action under the Act. However, as Appellee correctly points out, Appellant failed to raise that issue before the Commission. We are, therefore, precluded from considering it on appeal.

Secondly, Appellant argues that the Commission improperly placed upon him the burden of proving that he could not return to ...


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