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RICHARD L. MONACI v. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (WARD TRUCKING AND TRANSPORT INSURANCE COMPANY) (05/13/88)

decided: May 13, 1988.

RICHARD L. MONACI, PETITIONER
v.
WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (WARD TRUCKING AND TRANSPORT INSURANCE COMPANY), RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in the case of Richard L. Monaci v. Ward Trucking Company, No. A-88242.

COUNSEL

James R. Schmitt, Will, Keisling, Ganassi & McCloskey, for petitioner.

Roy F. Walters, with him, Michael D. Sherman, Fried, Kane, Walters & Zuschlag, for respondent, Ward Trucking Company.

Judges Craig and Palladino, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.

Author: Craig

[ 116 Pa. Commw. Page 173]

Richard Monaci appeals an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board, affirming a referee's decision terminating benefits Monaci received as a result of an injury he suffered while employed by Ward Trucking.

Monaci raises two issues for this court's consideration. The first issue is whether the referee erred in failing to admit into evidence, at the termination proceeding, a Social Security Administration (SSA) decision that determined that Monaci was disabled and entitled to benefits under the Social Security Act.*fn1 The second issue is whether the board abused its discretion in failing to grant Monaci's request for a remand based on after-discovered evidence. Because we conclude that the referee properly refused to admit the Social Security Administration decision, and that the board did not abuse its discretion in failing to grant a remand, we affirm.

The facts are undisputed. On April 25, 1978, Monaci suffered a back injury while employed by Ward

[ 116 Pa. Commw. Page 174]

Trucking, and was awarded workmen's compensation benefits effective May 4, 1978.

On January 26, 1982, Ward filed a petition for termination of benefits effective on that date. Both sides submitted depositions and evidence, and on November 10, 1983, Monaci's counsel moved to admit into evidence a decision of the SSA granting Monaci disability benefits under the Social Security Act. Ward objected to this admission of the SSA decision and the referee sustained Ward's objection.

On May 3, 1984, the referee granted Ward's petition and terminated Monaci's workmen's compensation benefits effective October 31, 1981, concluding that any disability suffered by Monaci subsequent to October 31, 1981 did not result from the work accident on April 25, 1978. Monaci appealed this decision to the board, and asserted that the referee erred in failing to admit the SSA decision into evidence. On November 13, 1984, Monaci requested that the board remand the case to the referee in light of a CAT scan performed on July 14, 1984. The board affirmed the referee's termination of benefits on March 19, 1986.

Because the employer prevailed in the administrative process, our scope of review is limited to a determination of whether constitutional rights were violated, or an error of law was committed and whether the necessary findings of fact were supported by substantial evidence. Mancini v. Workmen's Compensation ...


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