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FRANK PASQUARELLI v. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (WESTERN ELECTRIC) (12/21/89)

decided: December 21, 1989.

FRANK PASQUARELLI, PETITIONER,
v.
WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (WESTERN ELECTRIC), RESPONDENTS



PETITION FOR REVIEW (WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION)

COUNSEL

Amiel B. Caramanna, with him, Mitchell H. Dugan and Alexander J. Pentecost, Pittsburgh, for petitioner.

Richard R. Riese, with him, Richard V. Sica, Thorp, Reed & Armstrong, Pittsburgh, for respondents.

Craig, Barry and Smith, JJ.

Author: Smith

[ 130 Pa. Commw. Page 230]

Frank Pasquarelli (Claimant) seeks review of the decision of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) which affirmed the referee's decision dismissing Claimant's claim petition under The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act.*fn1 The Board's decision is affirmed.

Claimant, a telephone repairman, filed a claim petition against Western Electric (Employer) on July 11, 1983 alleging that he developed acute reactive depression as a result of harrassment from his supervisor which rendered Claimant disabled as of July 6, 1982, a fact made known to him by his treating psychologist on May 23, 1983. Hearings were held before Referee Fahey who found that Claimant became totally disabled as a result of an acute reactive depressive disorder related to and caused by the treatment Claimant was accorded at work by his supervisor Mr. Kane. Referee Decision of October 23, 1984, Findings of Fact No. 7.

Six days after Referee Fahey rendered his decision awarding benefits, Claimant pled guilty to charges of pool selling and bookmaking and criminal conspiracy. Employer filed an appeal with the Board alleging that the findings of fact were not supported by the evidence because Claimant

[ 130 Pa. Commw. Page 231]

    withheld important information bearing upon his medical condition and his employment. Employer also filed a petition for a hearing de novo and/or remand in conjunction with this appeal. The Board rendered its decision on November 8, 1985 remanding the case and specifically ordered as follows:

Defendant's petition for remand is granted. This case is Remanded to the Referee for the purpose of taking additional testimony as required relating to the after-discovered evidence, and for any other matters the Referee deems appropriate, and for the purpose of making Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law after consideration of the additional testimony. Defendant's pending Appeal is dismissed as moot at this time.

On remand, Referee Wilson held hearings and issued a final decision finding that Employer's physician, Dr. Dealy, was more credible than Claimant's physicians and that there were many stressful events in Claimant's life that could cause his depression. Referee Decision of March 9, 1988, Findings of Fact No. 4. Referee Wilson further found that Claimant's depressive disorder was not related to his work and concluded that Claimant did not suffer a compensable injury and thus dismissed the claim petition. Id., Findings of Fact No. 5; Conclusion of Law No. 1. On appeal to the Board, Claimant argued that the remand was improper since the original decision was supported by substantial evidence. The Board affirmed Referee Wilson's decision resulting in Claimant's appeal to this Court.*fn2

The issues before this Court are whether the remand order of the Board was proper; whether Referee Wilson's decision was in conformity with the remand order; and whether there was substantial ...


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