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FIDELITY MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE CO. v. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (GOURLEY AND PENNSYLVANIA MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION INSURANCE COMPANY) (05/18/89)

decided: May 18, 1989.

FIDELITY MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE CO., AND LIBERTY MUTUAL INSURANCE CO., PETITIONERS,
v.
WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (GOURLEY AND PENNSYLVANIA MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION INSURANCE COMPANY), RESPONDENTS



PETITION FOR REVIEW (WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION).

COUNSEL

Clifford A. Goldstein, Lynn G. Levy, Rawle & Henderson, Peter J. Weber, Philadelphia, for petitioners.

John A. Fitzpatrick, Mylotte, David & Fitzpatrick, Philadelphia, for respondent, Theresa Gourley.

J. Scott Kramer, Teresa Ficken Sachs, Duane, Morris & Heckscher, for respondent, Pennsylvania Manufacturers' Association Insurance Company.

Palladino and Smith, JJ., and Kalish, Senior Judge.

Author: Palladino

[ 126 Pa. Commw. Page 190]

Fidelity Mutual Life Insurance Company (Employer) and Liberty Mutual Insurance Company (Liberty Mutual) appeal from a decision of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) affirming a referee's grant of workmen's compensation benefits to Theresa Gourley (Claimant) pursuant to section 301(c) of the Act of June 2, 1915, P.L. 736, as amended, 77 P.S. ยง 411.

Claimant was employed by Employer from August, 1967 until late February, 1980, as an insurance reconciliation administrator. In late 1978 or early 1979, Claimant began experiencing sore throats, wheezing and a rash on her hands and forearms. Claimant's symptoms were caused by an allergic reaction to carbon paper, carbonless paper and certain printed materials. Claimant's allergy causes her to suffer hives, skin irritations and asthma when she is exposed to these substances. The referee awarded temporary total disability benefits, based on the following pertinent findings of fact:

5. The Referee finds from a review of the evidence and specifically from a review of the testimony of the Claimant herself, that Claimant's symptoms became progressively worse during her entire subsequent employment with Fidelity Mutual Life Insurance Company, and that the progressive worsening of these symptoms resulted in Claimant's leaving her employment as of March 3, 1980.

6. The Referee finds from a review of the evidence that Claimant did not become injured until March 3, 1980.

7. The Referee finds from a review of the evidence that Claimant did not become disabled until March 3, 1980.

The referee concluded that Liberty Mutual, which became Employer's insurer as of January 1, 1980, was the insurance carrier responsible for payment of benefits to Claimant. Liberty Mutual appealed to the Board, asserting that the referee erred in determining the date of Claimant's injury. The Board rejected Liberty ...


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