PETITION FOR REVIEW, (WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION).
Thomas G. Eddy, Pittsburgh, for petitioner.
Dale A. Cable, with him, N.R. Zuschlag and James A. Mazzotta, Fried, Kane, Walters & Zuschlag, Pittsburgh, for respondent, Bell Transit Inc.
Doyle, Palladino and Smith, JJ.
[ 130 Pa. Commw. Page 307]
James E. Eddy (Claimant) appeals from a decision of the Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) which affirmed a referee's decision denying benefits to Claimant. We affirm the order of the Board on the basis that the Claimant's action was barred by the statute of limitations.
The Claimant drove a truck for Bell Transit, Inc. (Bell/Employer) from July or August of 1973 until November 27, 1982, when he was laid off due to a shut down of the business. During the course of his employment, the Claimant experienced some discomfort in his neck which he attributed to a "pinched nerve."
A month after the Claimant was laid off, he began driving his own truck as a means of self-employment. He continued to experience pain in his neck. On or about April 29, 1983, approximately six months after being laid off, the Claimant visited a chiropractor who told him that he had a degeneration of the cervical area of his spine. The chiropractor attributed the condition to the Claimant having driven a truck for a number of years. The Claimant then stopped driving his truck and one month later had a cervical disc fusion.
On June 16, 1983, one month after surgery, the Claimant told his former employer, Bell, that over a period of years there had been a "disintegration of the bones in his neck."
[ 130 Pa. Commw. Page 308]
The Claimant did not file a claim at this time, however, because Bell's representative told him that since there was no accident, there would be no reason to file a claim for workmen's compensation benefits.
In May 1985, the Claimant resumed self-employment by again driving his own truck. On May 13, 1985, he hit a bump in the road, hit his head on the top of his truck, and reinjured his neck. This accident necessitated further medical treatment.
On April 8, 1986, approximately three years and five months after leaving the employ of Bell, the Claimant filed ...