Teacher Attacked by Students In Pennsylvania

In School District of Philadelphia v. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Gardiner), 98 Pa. Commw. 580, 511 A.2d 947 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1986), a teacher was attacked at school by students and, among other injuries, lost four front teeth, her two upper central incisors and her two upper maxillary lateral incisors. At the hearing before the Workers' Compensation Judge (WCJ), she wore a fixed bridge prosthesis where the four teeth had been and offered pictures of herself without the bridge. The WCJ found that there was "a quite noticeable absence of the maxillary central incisors and a noticeable partial absence of the maxillary lateral incisors. Further the loss of the aforesaid piece detrimentally affects the Claimant's overall appearance." Despite arguments by the employer that the WCJ should not have awarded benefits because he based his decision on the comparison of the picture of the claimant without the bridge and with her bridge at the hearing instead of her appearance before she was injured with her appearance with the bridge, we affirmed stating: "The previous appearance of the teeth as a whole as part of the head and face is a matter that is proper for the factfinder to consider. However, there are various circumstances which could prevent such a comparison. Thus, the Court cannot hold such a comparison to be indispensable to the grant of benefits. The presence of the bridge prosthesis does not eliminate the claimant's disfigurement altogether. Instead, it diminishes the effect." Id. at 948-949.