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MACKINTOSH-HEMPHILL v. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (BANICKI) (05/26/88)

decided: May 26, 1988.

MACKINTOSH-HEMPHILL, DIVISION OF G. & W. MANUFACTURING COMPANY, PETITIONER
v.
WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (BANICKI), RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board, in the case of John J. Banicki v. Mackintosh-Hemphill, Div., G. & M. Manufacturing Co., No. A-90227.

COUNSEL

David Max Baer, Campbell, Sherrard & Burke, P.C., for appellant.

J. Scott Leckie, Yablonski, Costello & Leckie, for appellee.

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

Author: Palladino

[ 116 Pa. Commw. Page 402]

Mackintosh-Hemphill Division of G. & W. Manufacturing Company (Employer) appeals an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) affirming a referee's decision to reinstate benefits to John J. Banicki (Claimant). For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

Claimant was employed by Employer as a molder's helper. On October 16, 1981, Claimant suffered a work injury when he fell into a pit and sustained a concussion. Claimant returned to light duty work after the accident and eventually returned to his regular job on April 26, 1982.*fn1 Claimant remained at this job until

[ 116 Pa. Commw. Page 403]

December 10, 1982 when he was laid off for economic reasons.

As a result of Claimant's injury, Claimant came under the care of Dr. Thomas Dugan, a neurologist. Dr. Dugan subsequently referred Claimant to Dr. James Huha, a clinical psychologist. Dr. Huha diagnosed Claimant as suffering from a post-traumatic head injury with accompanying depression and anxiety and recommended to Employer that Claimant undergo psychotherapy. Employer then authorized six (6) months of psychotherapy and agreed to pay for these treatments. Claimant commenced psychotherapy on May 3, 1982 and continued with treatment until October 25, 1982.*fn2

On November 3, 1982, Dr. Huha performed a neuropsychological re-evaluation and recommended continued therapy. Dr. Huha sent a written report, dated November 29, 1982, to Employer regarding the results of the re-evaluation and recommendation for continued therapy. After Dr. Huha performed the re-evaluation, Claimant went to one therapy session on December 27, 1982 and advised Dr. Huha that he could not continue treatment while he was unemployed because he could not afford the travel expense to Dr. Huha's office.*fn3 Claimant requested that Dr. Huha recommend a psychotherapist closer to Claimant's home. Claimant did

[ 116 Pa. Commw. Page 404]

    not return to Dr. Huha and did not see a psychotherapist again until March 8, 1983, at which time he consulted ...


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