Thursday, January 29, 2009

Blair County Chamber Risk/Safety Committee and Human Resource Mgt. Assn. of Blair County -- “Ten Ways to Lose a Workers' Compensation Case"

The following citations are provided as a follow up to my recent presentation to the Blair County Chamber of Commerce Risk/Safety Committee and Human Resource Management Association of Blair County entitled “Ten Ways to Lose a Workers’ Compensation Case”

“Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell

Maxim Crane Works v W.C.A.B. (Solano)
– The Employer may not take a retroactive credit under Section 204(a) of the Act until the Employer has sent the LIBC-756 Employee’s report of Benefits.

Motor Coils Manufacturing/WABTEC v. W.C.A.B. (Bish) – The Employer may not modify benefits based on a job with the pre-injury employer when the Claimant has moved out of state in good faith.

Riddle v. W.C.A.B. (Allegheny City Electric, Inc.)
- The Employer may, however, modify benefits based on a labor market survey in the place of the Claimant’s new residence out of state. Even though the Act does not provide for this remedy, the Employer acted in good faith.

Pries v. W.C.A.B. (Verizon Pennsylvania)
– Commonwealth Court case holding that to reinstate benefits after retirement, the Claimant has the burden to show the Claimant is disabled from all work.

But see Gray v W.C.A.B. (Philadelphia Housing Authority) decided by the Supreme Court on January 12, 2009 – The Claimant, who was released to return to work by her physician, took a regular retirement. The WCJ suspended benefits and the Board and Commonwealth Court affirmed. (The Commonwealth Court opinion appears to be unpublished) The Supreme Court directed reinstatement of benefits based on the Claimant’s statement that she felt she had too much pain to continue.

From the New York Times: “Study Finds Settling Is Better Than Going to Trial”