Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board, in the case of Willard Dwight Mayo v. Youth Development Center, No. A-88155.
George H. Hoffman, Goldberg & Kamin, for petitioner.
Catherine A. Blue, Assistant Counsel, for respondent.
Judges Barry and Smith, and Senior Judge Narick, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Barry.
[ 117 Pa. Commw. Page 337]
Willard Dwight Mayo, the claimant, appeals an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) which affirmed a referee's decision dismissing his claim petition.
Claimant testified that he had been employed as a supervisor at the Youth Development Center (YDC) at Warrendale when, in September of 1981, he was transferred to the YDC's Waynesburg facility. Shortly after being transferred, the claimant began filing a number of grievances because of the working conditions. He alleges that the working relationship between himself and his immediate supervisor was not a harmonious one, and that he was subjected to working conditions which were much more trying than the working conditions of supervisors doing the same job. Two such supervisors corroborated the claimant's testimony on this point.
By July of 1982, the claimant was suffering from chest pains and headaches. He called Dr. Richard Lippe in early July but was unable to get an appointment until August 3, 1982. By July 28, 1982, claimant's symptoms were such that he missed a week of work prior to the appointment with Dr. Lippe. Following an examination, Dr. Lippe informed the claimant that he was suffering from severe hypertension; the doctor prescribed two medicines to treat the high blood pressure. In a report submitted into evidence, Dr. Lippe stated, "It is my medical opinion that his hypertension was definitely related to the stress at work and that this was the reason for him being off from work and the need for taking medication." (Letter of Dr. Lippe, 1/11/83.)
[ 117 Pa. Commw. Page 338]
The claimant testified that he was unable to work from July 28, 1982 through October 5, 1982. He also testified to absence because of problems with his blood pressure from March 2, 1983 to March 8, 1983.
The claimant filed a claim petition, alleging that he had been disabled for the periods mentioned above; he also alleged that the disability was the result of stress at work. Three hearings were held between January and November of 1983. Claimant testified and also presented the testimony of two fellow supervisors and the report of Dr. Lippe. The employer offered no testimony. The only evidence which the employer presented was a form completed by Dr. Lippe dated September 23, 1982, which indicated that the hypertension was due to stress but did not mention that the stress was work related; the report also indicated that the claimant had resumed work as of that date. Following the completion of the hearings, the referee made the following factual findings and legal conclusions:
15. The claimant's testimony contains direct statements as well as evasions and contradictions.
16. He has failed to meet his burden of establishing that he sustained disability, as the result ...