Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in the case of Ronald G. Baird v. New Enterprise Stone & Lime, No. A-93025.
Edward G. Kuyat, Jr., with him, Craig E. Kuyat, Kuyat & Kuyat, for petitioner.
Carolann A. Young, with her, William L. Kimmel, for respondent.
Judges Barry and Smith, and Senior Judge Narick, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Smith. Judge MacPhail did not participate in the decision in this case.
[ 124 Pa. Commw. Page 258]
This is an appeal by New Enterprise Stone and Lime (Employer) from a decision of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) affirming the referee's decision to grant benefits to Ronald G. Baird (Claimant) under Section 301(c) of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act (Act).*fn1 The Board is affirmed.
Questions presented on appeal are whether the Claimant met his burden of proving that he sustained a heart attack during the course of his employment; and whether the Board and referee erred in awarding benefits in the nature of a work-related injury when the claim petition only alleged that the Claimant sustained a heart attack.
The referee found that on June 13, 1985, Claimant filed a claim petition alleging that he became disabled on April 11, 1985 when he sustained a heart attack. Claimant's employment began on April 9, 1985 and involved loading and placing signs along construction areas on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. On the day in question, Claimant was riding on the back of a truck when some signs and sign standards, which are used to direct traffic during construction, fell into the path of traffic on the Pennsylvania
[ 124 Pa. Commw. Page 259]
Turnpike. Claimant ran for about ten minutes collecting the signs. Findings of Fact Nos. 1-4. Although Claimant complained that he was short of breath, he continued to work that day and for the following two days. On April 11, 1985, Claimant visited his family physician and later that day was admitted to Somerset Community Hospital.
After his admission to the hospital, Claimant was examined by Dr. Nair, a specialist in internal medicine and cardiology, who determined that Claimant had sustained a heart attack on April 9, 1985 and suffered from severe coronary artery disease consisting of total and sub-total blockage of at least three coronary arteries which pre-dated Claimant's heart attack. Findings of Fact No. 13. Dr. Nair further determined that Claimant's physical exertion at work was one of the precipitating factors. The referee determined that Claimant had suffered a compensable injury and awarded weekly compensation benefits of $336.00 effective April 11, 1985. Employer appealed to the Board which affirmed the referee and found that Claimant had suffered an aggravation of a pre-existing injury. Employer thereafter petitioned this Court for review.*fn2
Employer initially argues that Claimant has failed to meet his burden of proving with sufficient competent and unequivocal medical evidence that Claimant sustained a compensable injury in the nature of a heart attack which arose during the course of his employment. Employer maintains that because ...