Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Attorney's Fees Awarded for Frivolous Appeal

In a typical case of the Employer contesting a Claim on the basis of medical causation, the Commonwealth reviewed the Employer's several arguments on appeal and found them each addressed by precedent or matters of credibility. This, coupled with the fact that Claimant's Counsel's Attorney Fee Request was very reasonable ($175.00/hr. but only three hours), culminated in the Court awarding the requested fee on the basis that the Employer's appeal was frivolous.

One issue was the impact of Weaver v. State of the Art on a Claim petition for a closed period less than 52 weeks with a suspension at the end. Citing Ruth Family Medical Center v. Steinhouse, the court stated Section 422(c) allowed reports in this case because the life of the claim is less than 52 weeks. The Court stated Weaver applies in cases where the life of the claim is more than 52 weeks. Therefore, the Court perpetuated the issue: When the Claimant was off for ten months in the past and wants to offer a medical report to claim a closed period of another three months (even with a termination) could he or she? Weaver suggests the answer is no.

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