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Submitted: August 25, 2000

Thaddeus Rydzewski (Claimant) petitions this Court for review of an order of the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Board), which reversed the decision of a Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) granting Claimant’s claim petition for benefits based on a “mental/mental” injury.

On June 16, 1993, Claimant, a City of Philadelphia police officer, responded to another officer’s call for assistance. When Claimant arrived at the scene, he saw two officers shot and seriously injured. Claimant helped to carry one of the officers to the back of a patrol wagon. He then saw the other officer lying inside the wagon with a civilian pumping on his chest. Afterwards, one of the officers died from the gunshot wounds inflicted upon him; the other officer lived but was partially paralyzed. Claimant experienced emotional difficulties that he attributed to this June 16, 1993 incident. These problems took the form of nightmares and difficulties in his relationships with his wife and children, and he believed that he could not do the tasks that a police officer must perform. As a result, Claimant sought help with the Police Department’s Employee Assistance Program and he was removed from duty. Claimant was then placed on restricted duty status for about seven months and given an assignment in the Police Administration Building. Claimant saw a variety of health professionals, including Michael Broder, Ph.D. and Timothy Michals, M.D.. Eventually, Thomas A. Doyle, the Police Safety Officer, informed him by memo that his injury would not be deemed work-related and that he would have to utilize his sick time.

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