Thursday, January 15, 2004

Commonwealth Court Affirms WCJ May Grant Motion To Dismiss on the Pleadings

In Karotka, et al. v. WCAB (Millcreek Community Hospital, et al.) the spouse of the Claimant who passed away from reasons unrelated to her work injury filed serial Penalty Petitions alleging vague misconduct by the Employer. The WCJ cut the Complainant off at the hearing and gave him an additional 30 days to state his case in writing. The WCJ then dismissed on the basis of res judicata.

The Commonwealth Court affirmed and further stated that nothing in Section 504 of the Administrative Agency Law requires an evidentiary hearing. Notice and the opportunity to be heard is satisfied if the WCJ reviews the pleadings and requests briefs. This can be on the WCJ's own motion, or on the motion of a party. The WCJ can dismiss a frivolous petition using this procedure.

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