Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Payment of Injured On Duty Benefits Estops City From Denying WC, But Does Not Preclude Section 413 Review

In Gunter v. WCAB (City of Philadelphia) the Claimant police officer was assaulted while off-duty in her driveway. The WCJ found her to be out of the course and scope of her employment. In the beginning, she was erroneously awarded Injured on Duty (IOD) benefits. The WCJ, Board and Commonwealth Court held these are different benefits with a different standard, therefore the City was not estopped from contesting the claim.

The Supreme Court affirmed on different grounds. The Court found the standards for IOD benefits and WC benefits are congruent. However, after an excellent analysis of when an Employer may contest liability in a Review Petition under section 413 of the Act, the Court held this was such a situation because the award of IOD benefits was erroneous.

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