Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board, in the case of Thomas C. Lattanzi v. Montgomery Publishing Company and Blue Bell Printing, No. A-90902.
Gary C. Bender, Cramp, D'Iorio, McConchie & Forbes, for petitioner.
Martin J. Fallon, with him, Helen J. Novak, Swartz, Campbell & Detweiler, for respondent.
Judges Barry, Smith, and Senior Judge Narick, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Narick.
[ 115 Pa. Commw. Page 204]
This is an appeal by Blue Bell Printing Company (Blue Bell) from a decision of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) affirming a referee's decision which concluded that Thomas C. Lattanzi (Claimant) suffered an aggravation of a pre-existing condition during the course of his employment with Blue Bell rather than a recurrence of a prior work-related injury.
[ 115 Pa. Commw. Page 205]
The essential facts in this matter are as follows. On May 29, 1981, Claimant originally received compensation for a back injury while employed by Montgomery Publishing Company (Montgomery). On December 23, 1981, Claimant signed a final receipt indicating he was completely recovered from his May 29, 1981 work injury. In February 1982, Claimant commenced working for Blue Bell, but worked for a little more than one week because of back problems. On February 14, 1982, Claimant was admitted to Bryn Mawr Hospital for tests and on June 21, 1982, Claimant was readmitted to the hospital for back surgery. On or about April 21, 1982, Claimant filed a Petition to Set Aside Final Receipt which he had signed regarding his work injury with Montgomery. On or about May 27, 1982, Montgomery filed a petition to join Blue Bell as an additional employer asserting that Claimant's alleged back condition was aggravated and exacerbated by his employment with Blue Bell.
The referee concluded that Claimant sustained a work-related injury while in the course of his employment with Blue Bell and was entitled to compensation beginning February 17, 1982 up to and including November 7, 1982; that Claimant failed to prove that his work-related disability of May 25, 1981 had not in fact ceased and terminated; and that Claimant had properly satisfied the notice provisions of Section 311 of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act (Act), Act of June 2, 1915, P.L. 736, as amended, 77 P.S. § 631. The Board affirmed the referee and this appeal followed.
Blue Bell raises the same issues on appeal to this Court as it did in its appeal to the Board: (1) the referee erred in finding that Claimant suffered an aggravation of a pre-existing condition during the course of his employment with Blue Bell rather than a recurrence of a prior work-related injury; (2) the referee erred in finding that
[ 115 Pa. Commw. Page 206]
the notice provisions of Section 311 of the Act were satisfied; (3) the referee erred in treating Montgomery's petition for joinder as a claim petition; and (4) the Claimant should be barred from recovery because he willfully and intentionally misrepresented his physical condition on his employment application with Blue Bell.
Initially we note that in reviewing a decision of the Board, our scope of review is a narrow one, limited to a determination of whether there has been a constitutional violation, or an error of law and whether the necessary findings of facts are supported by substantial evidence. Section 704 of the Administrative Agency Law, 2 Pa. C. S. § 704; Kirkwood v. ...