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Jersey City Printing Co. v. Klochansky

Decided: November 17, 1949.

JERSEY CITY PRINTING COMPANY, PETITIONER-APPELLANT,
v.
MIKE KLOCHANSKY, RESPONDENT-APPELLEE



Duffy, J.c.c.

Duffy

This is an appeal from a determination in the Workmen's Compensation Division wherein the employer's petition for a decrease in the compensation previously awarded the respondent (employee) was dismissed. To avoid confusion I shall hereafter refer to the present petitioner as the Company and to the present respondent as Klochansky.

The record discloses that Klochansky sustained an injury by accident arising out of and in the course of his employment with the Company on May 27, 1940. After hearing upon his formally filed petition for compensation, an award was made to him of 12 1/2 per cent of total. Subsequently, a petition was filed for an alleged increase of disability on June 8, 1943, and, after a protracted hearing, an award was entered in his favor on August 8, 1944, for 100 per cent total permanent disability.

Pursuant to the above orders, the Company has paid Klochansky 384 1/2 weeks of permanent disability compensation. It has filed the present petition for a reduction in the award on the grounds of an alleged improvement in his general physical condition. It seeks a determination that his permanent disability has diminished.

Dr. Weinstock Bergman, appearing as a neurologist for the Company, testified that he had examined Klochansky on April 7, 1941, and again on April 27, 1948, at which time his findings were that Klochansky seemed "well nourished and not acutely ill," that he "showed evidence of arteriosclerosis in the fundi and the peripheral-vascular system" with "coarse tremors of the eye lids, tongue and fingers." The doctor estimated

his neuropsychiatric disability to be 15 per cent of total regardless of cause, of which he attributed about 10 per cent of total to trauma. In answer to a hypothetical question Dr. Bergman expressed the opinion that Klochansky had improved not only in the subjective manifestations but in the objective findings as well to the point that neuropsychiatrically he found him 5 per cent better in the later examination.

Dr. Jack Blumberg, testifying on behalf of the Company, stated that he had examined Klochansky on September 20, 1943, and again on April 7, 1948, at which time subjective complaints were made to him of recurrent headaches, recurrent dizziness and an inability to lift anything. The objective findings were some arteriosclerotic changes in the fundi, tremors of the eye lids, tongue and extended fingers and a neurosis. In answer to a hypothetical question, Dr. Blumberg expressed the opinion that Klochansky's condition was better in 1948 to the point where he could work. On cross-examination, Dr. Blumberg estimated Klochansky's neurological disability to be 5 per cent of total which is exactly the appraisal he had made at the hearing in 1944.

Three investigators testified for the Company. One stated that he had seen Klochansky on December 20 and 21, 1944, standing on a ladder hanging wallpaper in his home. Another stated that he had seen Klochansky on September 29, 1947, carry two medium sized ash cans from the sidewalk into the house. The next day (September 30) he saw him sweep the sidewalk and later make two trips to the corner with a two-wheeled cart to pick up wood which he carted to the back yard. Later, he saw Klochansky go to the grocery store (five doors from his home) and return with merchandise in a 12-inch bag.

Another investigator testified regarding his observation of Klochansky on November 14 and November 29, 1947, at which times he saw him cutting wood, carrying it and piling it. Motion pictures (200 feet) which he had taken of these activities were received in evidence.

The pictures were exhibited in my Chambers on October 24th. The films showed Klochansky on the dates mentioned

cutting small pieces of board with a hatchet, then making a bundle and carrying it to a wood box in the cellar areaway. The witness further stated that he had seen the subject holding boards against a revolving power saw but by the time he obtained his camera this operation had ceased. On cross-examination, the witness admitted that the action shown on the films would take ...


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