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Cliff Vaughn v. Workers' Compensation Appeal

March 11, 2011

CLIFF VAUGHN, PETITIONER
v.
WORKERS' COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (CARRARA STEEL ERECTORS), RESPONDENT



Per curiam.

ORDER

AND NOW, this 3rd day of June, 2011, it is ORDERED that the abovecaptioned opinion filed March 11, 2011 shall be designated OPINION rather than MEMORANDUM OPINION, and shall be reported.

IN THE COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA

Cliff Vaughn, Petitioner v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (Carrara Steel Erectors), Respondent

No. 1790 C.D. 2010

Submitted: February 11, 2011

BEFORE: HONORABLE BONNIE BRIGANCE LEADBETTER, President Judge HONORABLE PATRICIA A. McCULLOUGH, Judge HONORABLE JOHNNY J. BUTLER, Judge

OPINION BY JUDGE BUTLER

Cliff Vaughn (Claimant) petitions for review of the August 2, 2010 order of the Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (WCAB), which affirmed the decision of a Workers' Compensation Judge (WCJ) granting the suspension petition filed by Carrara Steel Erectors (Employer). The sole issue before this Court is whether the WCAB erred by finding that Employer met its burden of proving sufficient notice to Claimant of an available job under the Workers' Compensation Act (Act).*fn1 For the reasons that follow, we affirm the order of the WCAB.

Claimant, a union ironworker, suffered a back injury on July 23, 2005 while working for Employer. He filed a claim petition and on August 6, 2007, after the matter was litigated, a WCJ granted him workers' compensation indemnity and medical benefits. On January 3, 2008, Claimant underwent an independent medical exam performed by Daniel T. Altman, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon. Based upon his review of Claimant's records and his examination of Claimant, Dr. Altman issued a report stating that Claimant was capable of returning to work in a modified, medium- duty capacity. A Work Capability Chart accompanied Dr. Altman's report and reflected that Claimant could lift and/or carry up to 25 pounds, he could walk/stand for one to four hours in an eight-hour day, sit for five to eight hours and drive for one to three hours. The Chart also indicated that Claimant was able to use his hands for simple grasping, pushing/pulling and fine manipulation. It indicated that he could use his feet for repetitive motion, such as operating foot pedals, and he could occasionally bend, squat, climb, swing a sledge and perform hard physical exertion.

Following its receipt of Dr. Altman's Chart, by letter dated May 14, 2008, Employer, through Patrick S. Carrara (Carrara), notified Claimant as follows:

We are pleased to hear that you are capable of returning to work with some restrictions. Your activities at work will be modified to accommodate the restrictions identified in the 1/3/08 Work Capability Chart signed by Dr. Altman. A copy of this chart is enclosed.

Please report to Kevin Litz on May 19, 2008 at 7:00 a.m. You will, of course, be paid at your regular rate of pay.

Reproduced Record (R.R.) at 88a. On May 28, 2008, because Claimant failed to report to work, Employer filed a petition to suspend/modify his benefits as of May 19, ...


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