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JOSEPH A. LEO v. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (BOROUGH CHARLEROI) (02/24/88)

decided: February 24, 1988.

JOSEPH A. LEO, PETITIONER
v.
WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (BOROUGH OF CHARLEROI), RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in the case of Joseph A. Leo v. Borough of Charleroi, No. A-90358.

COUNSEL

Franklin L. Bialon, for petitioner.

Thomas V. Gebler, with him, Daniel R. Gigler, Robb, Leonard & Mulvihill, for respondent.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr., Judge Colins, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Barbieri. Judge Colins dissents.

Author: Barbieri

[ 114 Pa. Commw. Page 7]

Before the Court in this workmen's compensation case is the petition of Joseph A. Leo, Claimant, who seeks review of an order by the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board), an order which reversed a referee's award of benefits. We will reverse and reinstate the referee's award of benefits.

The facts are simple and not in controversy. Claimant last worked as a policeman for the Borough of Charleroi, having held this post for the period from 1974 through April 7, 1980, and having worked in the Street Department of the Borough from 1968 to 1974. Upon transfer from the Street Department to the Police Department, Claimant experienced a mental breakdown, a biological illness diagnosed as paranoia schizophrenia. His physical illness was triggered by the stress he experienced in his efforts to fulfill the post of a police officer.

The referee's key findings are as follows:

4. The claimant was an employee of the defendant from 1968. Claimant worked in the Street Department of the Borough of Chareleroi from 1968 through 1974 and with defendant's Police Department from 1974 through April 7, 1980.

6. Upon consideration of all lay testimony and medical evidence of record in this case and

[ 114 Pa. Commw. Page 8]

    based upon the sufficient, competent and credible medical evidence of record in this case from Dr. Oscar Urrea, claimant's treating doctor, your Referee finds as a fact that on April 7, 1980, claimant became totally disabled as a result of stress to which he was subjected to as a police officer for the defendant and he is unable to perform the duties of a police officer because he would be a danger to himself as well as to others. Claimant's job stresses included carrying a gun; giving tickets; his fear of suspension; wanting to be a policeman and not being able to perform the job; not being liked and being picked upon by his superiors and other members of the police force. As a ...


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