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JOSEPH R. BARNA v. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (JONES & LAUGHLIN STEEL CORPORATION) (05/20/88)

decided: May 20, 1988.

JOSEPH R. BARNA, SR., PETITIONER
v.
WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (JONES & LAUGHLIN STEEL CORPORATION), RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board, in the case of Joseph R. Barna, Sr. v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation, No. A-83872.

COUNSEL

Richard G. Spagnolli, with him, John W. McTiernan, McArdle, Caroselli, Spagnolli & Beachler, for petitioner.

Roy F. Walters, Jr., with him, Michael D. Sherman, Fried, Kane, Walters & Zuschlag, for respondent, Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation.

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

Author: Palladino

[ 116 Pa. Commw. Page 281]

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Barna v. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Jones & Laughlin Steel) (Barna II), 513 Pa. 518, 522 A.2d 22 (1987), reversed this court's decision in Barna v. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation) (Barna I), 88 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 83, 488 A.2d 651 (1985), and remanded the case to us for review of the issues not previously addressed. We vacate and remand.

The circumstances of this case were detailed in Barna I and Barna II. Therefore only a brief recitation of facts, in addition to the history of the case, will be given. Joseph R. Barna, Sr. (Claimant) injured his back while working for Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation (Employer) on either July 18 or 20, 1977. Claimant reported the injury to Employer on July 22, 1977. In August, 1977, Claimant, complaining of acute pain in his back, was admitted to the hospital and spent approximately 18 days there. Claimant's discharge summary listed eleven diagnoses. Critical in the ultimate resolution of this case are the first two listed: 1) lumbosacral strain with radiculitis and 2) latent lues [syphilis] with probable neurolues [neurosyphilis].*fn1

[ 116 Pa. Commw. Page 282]

Employer, on October 10, 1977, executed a notice of compensation payable which indicated that Claimant had sustained acute lumbosacral strain as a result of a work injury and was entitled to compensation for a total

[ 116 Pa. Commw. Page 283]

    disability beginning July 23, 1977. On December 10, 1978, Employer filed a petition for review pursuant to section 771 of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act (Act),*fn2 alleging a change in the nature and character of Claimant's disability. The evidence which Employer presented was not directed to showing that Claimant's disability had changed but to proving that the disabling back injury had never been related to the work injury suffered in July, 1977.

In support of its petition, Employer presented the deposition testimony of Dr. Anas A. El Attar, Employer's plant physician. Dr. El Attar testified that he informed Employer on October 13, 1977, after reviewing Claimant's hospital records, that he felt Claimant's disability was not related to his job. El Attar deposition at 13-14. Dr. El Attar ...


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