Dana Holding Corp. v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board

While the instant action was proceeding on direct appeal, the Supreme Court ruled in Protz v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board, 161 A.3d 827 (Pa. 2017) that a certain potion of workers’ compensation benefits statutory law was unconstitutional. The claimant in the instant matter properly raised and preserved the same issue for his case and now sought to have it retroactively applied to his case, still pending on appeal. After an exhaustive rehashing of state and federal law regarding retroactive application of new judicial and legislative rules, the Supreme Court held that, in Pennsylvania, “where prior judicial precedent isn’t overruled, a holding of this Court that a statute is unconstitutional will generally be applied to cases pending on direct appeal in which the constitutional challenge has been raised and preserved. At the present point in time, however, the Court is not of a mind to exclude the possibility of equitable balancing in extraordinary cases, particularly since no party this appeal has advocated any such position.”

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