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Riemenschneider v. D. Sabatelli, Inc.

Pennsylvania Superior Court

June 7, 2022

The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the trial court’s order that dismissed this negligence and wrongful death action. The plaintiff was the administrator of the estate of an individual who sustained fatal injuries when the brakes failed on a dump truck he was operating for his employer, the defendant. The defendant filed preliminary objections asserting, among other things, a demurrer on the ground that the suit was barred by the Workers’ Compensation Act’s exclusivity provision. The plaintiff countered that she was not within the class of individuals entitled to bring a claim under the Act and that children of decedents are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. The Superior Court ruled that the plaintiff’s claim must fail because the limitation on beneficiaries is one of the tradeoffs embodied in the Act.

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