Sunday, January 01, 2006

Supreme Court Affirms Denial of Supersedeas Reimbursement in Case of Refusal of Reasonable Medical Treatment

In Department of Labor & Industry v. WCAB (Excel Logistics), the employer won a petition for suspension alleging the claimant's refusal to undergo reasonable medical treatment. However, the employer's petition for supersedeas reimbursement was denied because the case did not involve a request for modification, suspension or termination under Section 413 or 430 of the Act.

The Commonwealth Court and Supreme Court held a forfeiture of benefits under Section 306(f.1)(8) is not a change in disability status as provided for in Sections 413 and 430. Accordingly, Section 443 does not allow supersedeas fund reimbursement.

The Supreme Court did not comment on what remedy the employer has against the claimant who was found to have forfeited his benefits. In light of this decision, the logical remedy would be a credit against the reinstated benefits when the claimant elects the treatment at issue.

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