PETITION FOR REVIEW, (WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION).
Larry Pitt, Philadelphia, for petitioner.
Thomas C. Lowry, James M. Connelly, Swartz, Campbell & Detweiler, Philadelphia, for respondents.
Doyle and McGinley, JJ., and Barbieri, Senior Judge.
[ 127 Pa. Commw. Page 67]
Chiquita E. Moody (Claimant) petitions for review of the order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) which granted a suspension of her benefits effective April 9, 1983. We reverse and remand.
Claimant worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer (Employer) as a district newspaper circulation manager. On November 23, 1980, she suffered a work-related lumbrosacral strain while lifting a bundle of newspapers into her car for delivery. A claim petition was filed and the referee awarded Claimant total disability benefits from November 23, 1980 until August 24, 1982, and partial disability benefits after August 25, 1982, based on a showing of part-time available work.
The referee closed the record in this case on April 18, 1983. The referee did not issue his decision until November 13, 1984. During this period, Employer discovered that on April 9, 1983, Claimant had slipped and fallen in an auto supply store injuring her knee and back and had brought an action to recover damages in the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court. When the referee issued his order, Employer filed a timely appeal to the Board which also requested a remand to present this newly discovered evidence.
Along with its appeal, Employer also filed a request for supersedeas. By order dated February 15, 1985, the Board denied the request for supersedeas as to 80% of Claimant's benefits, but granted it as to attorney fees, costs and expenses. On February 28, 1985, Employer filed a request for reconsideration of the supersedeas order along with a petition for rehearing. On April 25, 1985, the Board granted Employer's petition for rehearing and remanded to the referee. The order stated that the remand rendered the supersedeas moot. (R.R. 19a). Following the remand order, the Employer paid to Claimant 80% of the compensation due from November 23, 1980 until April 8, 1983. Employer refused to pay any compensation after April 8, 1983, contending that as of this date Claimant had suffered a new nonwork-related injury.
[ 127 Pa. Commw. Page 68]
On remand, the only evidence Employer introduced was Claimant's deposition and arbitration testimony in the Philadelphia Common Pleas suit. On October 30, 1984, Claimant presented the following testimony at an arbitration hearing:
Q. Ms. Moody is it your testimony today that you injured your back on ...